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Opposition trying to create obstacles, says Sonia

Sunday 15 May 2005, by AHUJA*Rajesh

BJP `stalled’ Employment Guarantee Bill

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V. Sudershan
`YOUR INTERESTS ARE SAFE’: Congress president Sonia Gandhi waving to the crowd as Haryana Chief Minister Bhupendra Singh Hooda looks on during a rally at Jind in Haryana on Saturday.

JIND (HARYANA): United Progressive Alliance chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said the Opposition was trying to create "hindrances’’ in the way of the UPA Government to stall development. She criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party for stalling the passage of the Rural Employment Guarantee Bill.

Ms. Gandhi expressed satisfaction with the performance of the UPA regime despite certain limitations inherent in a coalition. She recalled that the Opposition expressed doubts over the formation of the Congress-led Government and later when it came into being said it could not last long. "But its wish has not been fulfilled and the UPA Government is completing one year in office.’’ The Information Bill passed by Parliament would ensure transparency in the functioning of the administration.

She was addressing her first public meeting after the Congress’ landslide victory in the recent Haryana Assembly elections, on the Jind Police Lines ground here.

Ms. Gandhi said the mandate for the Congress was a fatwa against the "misrule’’ of the Chautala regime, was to make Haryana corruption-free and restore the rule of law.

Farmers’ stir

On the political significance of Jind, from where Bhupinder Singh Hooda launched an agitation against the Chautala regime in the wake of the farmers’ stir, Ms. Gandhi said they suffered much injustice those days.

Ms. Gandhi exhorted the Hooda Government to look after farmers, who ushered in the green and white revolutions, and provide them education, especially technical education.

Even as political observers described the event as a virtual show of strength by the Hooda camp with the ailing former Chief Minister and president of the Haryana unit of the Congress, Bhajan Lal, not present, Ms. Gandhi made it clear that she chose Mr. Hooda to implement the party’s programmes and policies. She exhorted the Hooda Government to fulfil the aspirations of the people. But they should give the new Government time to deliver the goods.

She patted the Chief Minister for initiating several measures to undo "wrongs’’ and usher in rapid development. Talking about the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana to improve availability of power in the country, she urged the Haryana Government to improve distribution. She expressed concern over the declining sex ratio in the State and urged the Government to rectify the situation. There was chaos as enthusiastic party workers tried to break the barricades and reach the dais.

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