Addressing two massive public rallies on Thursday in Andhra Pradesh, the UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi sounded election bugle for the Parliamentary as well as Assembly elections.
Seeking another term for the ruling Congress party, Ms. Gandhi addressing a rally at Anantpur said the state had gone under tremendous transformation after the Congress party came into power at Centre as well as State. She hoped that people of the state would continue their trust on the Congress party in the forthcoming elections.
The two meetings at Anantapur and Tirupati was virtually part of the election campaign in the state which is heading for anti-incumbency. The opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is getting ready for fray and on the other hand, the Telugu megastar Chiranjeevi has launched his own party-Praja Rajyam.
Striking directly at the TDP, the Congress president said TDP has done nothing for the welfare of the state and the farmers. In contrast our government under the leadership of Rajasekhara Reddy in the state has always given higher priority to the irrigation.
Keeping the possibility alive for the future collaboration with the Praja Rajyam, the Congress president said her party, in fact, is working on a strategy to tie-up with smaller by influential parties in states to strengthen and achieve its prospects.
Farmers are the backbone of our country. And they need electricity, which is constantly reducing. We are committed to provide more electricity to farmers as well as other people at cheap rates. “We need to accelerate the pace of development on a par with other big countries. For this, we need to produce more and more power, for which more nuclear plants are needed,” said Ms. Gandhi.
Our government's decision to enter into civil nuclear agreement with the United States was with a sole aim to meet India's energy requirements, she added. More nuclear energy would mean electricity for farmers, industries, homes, villages and towns and for the whole country.
She also told that the Congress-led UPA government at the centre has taken several steps for the welfare of the farmers, labourers, women and common men. For this, she specially mentioned National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), farm loan waiver and 33% reservation for women in parliament, assemblies and panchayats.
Before winding up the State's visit at Anantapur, Ms. Gandhi earlier in the day addressed a gathering of women belonging to self-helf groups in Tirupati and inaugurated the Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies at Idupalapaya in Kadapa district. She also announced that Tirupati would go through modernisation soon with airport at par the international level facility. Rs 2,000 crore has already been sanctioned for the modernisation and expansion of the existing railway station in Tirupati, she said.
Andhra Pradesh electorally has significant position in the country with 40 Lok Sabha seats. Congress president’s worry is quite natural as the state has recently gone through some major political developments which can have far-reaching impact on the state's politics—TDP is gearing up for poll and the Praja Rajyam as a separate political party has been launched. Under these uneven developments, Congress needs to do extra effort to be in power.