Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the people of Haryana to return the Congress to power in the state contending it needed a government which would work in tandem with the Centre and reap the benefits of centrally-sponsored schemes.
"Only a Congress government can do it," Singh said addressing his first public meeting in poll-bound Haryana. The Prime Minister said the Congress had never played the politics of dividing the society but made efforts to take evrybody along with it.
Attributing the rise in prices of essential goods to global factors and a poor monsoon, Singh assured the people that the government would be able to contain inflation after a good Rabi season."The most difficult period (when prices of essential commodities soared) has ended. The government will be able to contain price hike after a good produce of Rabi crop," he said Singh attributed the price rise to a spurt in prices of foodgrains in global market, poor monsoon causing drought-like conditions and steps initiated by the government by raising prices of farmers produce to give them maximum benefit.
He said the government had initiated steps to check black marketing and hoarding. Appealing to the voters to vote for Congress, the Prime Minister said, "There is a need for such a government in the state, which strives forward the developmental works and initiate steps for the benefit of common man."
Reposing faith in electorate, he said that "people of Haryana understand that only Congress party can take forward the country and the state on the development front," and assured farmers that the Centre and the state was doing bestpossible to resolve their problems.
"Interest on farmers' loans has been waived off, due to drought like conditions and arrangements were made for additional electricity and subsidies, which have benefitted nine lakh farmers," Singh said in an apparent bid to woo peasantry of the state. The Hooda government has waived off power bills of farmers amounting to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore besides waiving off the cooperative loans, he said.
Listing further achievements of the state government Manmohan Singh said that the government ended the draconian law of arresting defaulting farmers making Haryana the first state to do so and also made a law that land of such farmers would not be auctioned.
"The state has made such a development in the past four and a half years that on per capita income scale, it secured the first position from 14th," Singh said.
The Prime Minister also hailed Hooda's leadership and said that Haryana became a prosperous state setting an example for others. Singh said that the plan budget of the state had increased from Rs 2,300 crore in 2004-05 to Rs 11,000 crore. "Give another opportunity to the Congress, the pace of development will be further accelerated in the state," he said.
Taking a dig at the previous non-Congress governments in the state, he said that the common man now felt secured in an environment of peace and security, where law and order situation had considerably improved.
Listing achievements of Congress led Haryana government, the PM said that four new thermal power plants were being set up, which would start generation by 2012. Besides, three industrial model townships, petro chemical hub is being set up at Panipat, Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway is under construction and approval has been granted for new rail line between Sonepat-Jind-Rewari.
Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh