People of Maharashtra are aware of ’hollow claims’ by the opposition parties and will once again vote Congress-NCP combine to power, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said here today.

“Maharashtra people are alert. They know who is making genuine promises and who is making hollow claims. They will once again bring Congress-NCP to power in the state,” Ms. Sonia said, addressing a rally for the October 13 Assembly polls, at this Sikh pilgrimage town in Marathwada region.

“What does the opposition have to do with development?” Ms. Sonia asked, alluding to the Shiv Sena-BJP saffron alliance. .

“They don’t talk about public interest but only foment hatred for their political interests,” she added.

“We want a Maharashtra where every person can live in peace and harmony and participate in the development process,” Sonia said, appealing voters in the nine Assembly constituencies of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s home district Nanded to vote for Congress-NCP-RPI (Gawai) alliance.

The UPA government took various initiatives for farmers, specially those from Maharashtra, the Congress president said. .

“There is a new light in the lives of farmers after the Government announced Rs 71,000 crore loan waiver,” she said.

Congress is fighting for the welfare of weaker sections of society, including Dalits and women, Ms. Sonia said. Loans at cheaper interests have been made available to ‘our sisters’, she said.

“We have increased support prices of foodgrains,” the Congress president said.

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, christened after Mahatma Gandhi, has been taken to all districts in the country and has been a success, she said.

Nanded, an important religious destination, has been included in the National Urban Renewal Mission and funds allocated for its development, she said. Soon, Nanded would be a slum—free town, the UPA chairperson said.

Recalling the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri in the freedom struggle, Ms. Sonia said these leaders worked for progress and development of generations to come.