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UPA committed to give basic facilities to all: Sonia

September 30, 2013 14:46 IST

Asserting that inclusive growth will remain as central plank of the United Progressive Alliance, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said it was in tune with this concept that the government had launched a series of welfare programmes and legislative initiatives, especially for the weaker sections.

"Inclusive growth is the policy of the UPA. We want everyone to march together to make a new India. No one should be left behind or sidelined on account of religion, class, caste or creed," Gandhi said while launching a scheme of the Kerala government providing land to all landless families on Monday.

She said the UPA was committed to carry forward the legacy of former premiers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi to build the modern India based on the principle of social justice by providing basic facilities to every one.

Gandhi said the UPA under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's leadership had introduced a host of welfare schemes including the food security legislation with this goal in mind. Other measures also included the Right To Information, land acquisition rehabilitation bill, right to education and rights of tribal act, rural employment guarantee scheme and Prime Minister's Gram Sadak Yojana.

Praising the Oommen Chandy government for its welfare initiatives, she said the "zero landless programme" unveiled on Monday was in harmony with the UPA's social security measures and would receive total support of the Centre.

"Citizens become happy only when they have a piece of land and a house. A happy citizen is better equipped to face challenges of every day." Programmes like this demonstrated that the United Democratic Front government is "responsive, compassionate and meets the aspirations of the people." "The UDF government has done a stellar job in implementing the flagship programmes of the UPA. I believe that the programme (zero land less scheme) focuses on providing land to the landless, mostly weaker sections such as SC-ST, destitute, handicapped and persons suffering from chronic illnesses."

She noted that it was significant that the UDF government come out with such a courageous measure to provide land for all despite severe pressure on land due to increase in population and urbanisation.          

Gandhi said Kerala was poised to become the first state in the country where everyone would have at least a piece of land by 2015 and that would be a remarkable achievement and a new beginning.

Gandhi, who distributed title deeds for three cents of land each to a handful of beneficiaries at the function, said she hoped that these families would be able to construct their houses on the land provided to them.

The scheme in the first phase envisages to provide land for one lakh families in Kollam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts.

Gandhi, who arrived on a two-day visit in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, launched a major free health care scheme of the state government. She also inaugurated the research-cum-training centre of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies, set up by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee at Neyyar near the capital. She also had interactions with leaders of the UDF partners and discussed the front's prospects in the next Lok Sabha polls in the state.

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