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Sonia promises a better tomorrow for J&K
Tara Shankar Sahay in Baramulla |
June 01, 2003 19:31 IST
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday promised that her party will help the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed government in Jammu and Kashmir to bring development and prosperity to the troubled state.
The Congress is the main coalition partner in the People's Democratic Party-led government in J&K.
Addressing a joint Congress-PDP rally in Baramulla district at the Delhi police grounds, Sonia elicited a good response from the impressive gathering.
Tugging at the heart-strings of the large crowd, Sonia called J&K the land of Nehru-Gandhi family. She said having suffered the pain of losing near and dear ones in terrorist violence, the family understands the pain the Kashmir Valley has been through.
"I know [the pain] of what it is to lose a husband or a mother in-law," she said.
The Congress chief said the situation in the state has deteriorated in the past 12 years and claimed it was better when the country was ruled by the Congress.
"We, the PDP-Congress government, are again trying to walk on the same path. I know the youth need jobs in J&K and I have told my chief ministers to provide various concessions to them," Sonia said.
Underscoring that militancy had claimed many lives in Baramulla and Sopore, she paid tributes to the local people for having the courage to withstand these tragedies.
"I salute your courage. We have to end the culture of gun. We believe that the Centre should help end the woes of the people of the state," she said.
Referring to the Nadimarg massacre of Kashmiri Pandits in March, Sonia pointed out that the people of the state had rallied around the minority community and this showed their true secular spirit.
Earlier, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed made an impassioned plea for a softer Indo-Pak border. He said increased people-to-people contact will only help in the normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan.
He appealed to the Congress chief to help in solving 'this human problem.'