Sonia seeks vote for Congress to 'defeat communal elements'

Sonia seeks vote for Congress to 'defeat communal elements'

Assures Dev Councils for Pir Panchal, Chenab Valley; Slams Modi Govt for forgetting flood victims

Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi Friday urged people of J&K to “save the secular and united cultural ethos” of the State and “vote for Congress to defeat the communal elements who are out to dilute its social and cultural identity.

Sonia, who was addressing an election rally here, promised two Developmental Councils for Pir Panchal and Chenab Valley besides two Regional Councils in the State if Congress comes to power. She also promised new airstrips in J&K and developmental of Forest Training Institute at Chiternar Bandipora into a Research Institute.

Slamming BJP for “not caring for flood victims of J&K”, Sonia said “the BJP is playing politics over providing relief to flood victims. It has failed to provide whatever it had promised.”

Sonia said the J&K elections are taking place at a time when people of Kashmir are yet to come to terms with the devastation caused by the September floods.

“Elections are taking place at a time when you have faced a natural disaster (floods). The relief and rehabilitation work is going on at a very slow pace,” she said.

Slamming the BJP-led central government for “not providing required relief and rehabilitation to the flood affected”, she said “the situation on ground is so bad that seems BJP has no concern for the affected people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Terming Jhelum Valley a “symbol of secularism where different religions, communities, castes and cultures lived together”, Sonia said the Congress is in the field “to fight and defeat all such communal elements who are trying to dilute the united ethos in the state.”

“Any political party that believes in secularism enters in a coalition with Congress. I urge people to support our candidates in the state so that a secular government can be formed,” she said.

She said “whenever Congress headed a government in J&K, the state witnessed peace, prosperity and development.”

“During the tenure of Ghulam Nabi Azad as Chief Minister, the State witnessed massive development of infrastructure, good governance while Education and Health sectors got a boost,” she said. “Our policy is clear. We want development of J&K and also safeguard its cultural ethos.”

Without naming any party, Sonia said “it is not easy to achieve peace, tranquility and development with mere slogans.”

“Dragging innocent people to the world of dreams is easy but to lead them towards development and peace on ground matters in the nation of cultural diversity,” Sonia said.

She said it is the Congress which led a nation like India “without any regional, caste or religious discrimination or disparity.”

Admiring spirit of Kashmiri people, Sonia said she along with all Indians have “high respect” for those who saved thousands of people during the floods.