TODAY -
Sonia stays within Laxman Rekha of protocol
Inauguration of Ima Markets reduced to strictly a Cong affair
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 12 2010: Besides inaugurating various multi-crore developmental projects including the historic three multi-storeyed women market sheds at Imphal, UPA Chairperson and AICC president Sonia Gandhi stressed on the need to ensure that all Government benefits reach each and every section of the society.

"Manipur has now received the kind of financial and moral support it has never had before and we are firmly committed to developing the State," the UPA chief said while addressing a huge gathering at the historic Kangla fort here today afternoon.

Despite the general strike and the boycott call issued by many civil bodies against Sonia's Manipur visit, thousands of people mostly consisting of Congress workers turned up amid heavy security cover.



Sonia Gandhi arrived in Imphal


On the three women market sheds she inaugurated, Sonia said the markets have an umbilical cord with the history of Manipur and its social issues.

'This market was the focal point of the Nupi Lan (women's uprising ) against the British's autocratic policies,' Sonia said.

Mrs Gandhi pointed out that Union Minister Kumari Seilaja's announcement of Rs 72 crores as initial package for setting up three more market sheds to accommodate around 3000 vendors including street vendors who will not get their place in the newly inaugurated women markets, will go a long way in meeting the needs of the people.

While acknowledging Manipur's rich culture and tradition as well as a sports power house in the country, the AICC chief pointed out the achievements of MC Mary Kom who bagged the world championship titles in women boxing five times in a row.

"Like her (Mary Kom), scores of athletes have emerged from Manipur," Sonia said while appealing to the budding sports enthusiasts of the state to take up sporting activities in such a manner.

Likewise the young students should also tap the benefits from the newly set up National Institute of Technology as well as the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences at Imphal.

On the volatile law and order situation, Sonia, while stating that violence will never bring solution and dialogue is the only answer, appealed to the people to work for peace and development of the State.

Not referring to any specific instances, Sonia nevertheless said she respects the sentiments of the people of the State.

Being the chief of the ruling Congress , Sonia expressed her gratefulness to the people of Manipur for extending their ' unstinted support ' during the series elections � Parliamentary, Assembly and the recently concluded Autonomous District Council ( ADC) elections with the Congress winning absolute majority.

These are besides the by elections held during the present Assembly.

Before inaugurating the three women markets, Sonia flew to Chuarachandpur in a helicopter and inaugurated Khuga Multipurpose project.

She also inaugurated the annexe of Pradesh Congress Committee and unveiled a bust of Mahatama Gandhi at the Congress Bhawan.

From Kangla fort, she inaugurated a tribal market and Muslim girls' hostel and laid foundation stones of the Indira Gandhi National Open University and INA complex (at Moirang in Bishnupur district) by using remote control.

Chief minister Okram Ibobi, PCC president Gaikhangam, Power Minister Phungzathang also spoke at Kangla.

Among others Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja, AICC general secretary Ved Prakash accompanied Sonia.


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