In an apparent dig at Team Anna, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said all those trying to create confusion should look within before pointing a finger at the United Progressive Alliance government, which was determined to usher in an effective and strong Lokpal Bill.
“Corruption can be tackled through strong will at all levels and cannot be eradicated by mere speeches or pointing a finger at others,” Ms. Gandhi said in a message at the foundation-laying ceremony of an ambitious Rs.4,295-crore Rishikesh-Karnaprayag rail project at Gochar in Chamoli district.
The message was read out by Congress MP from Tehri Vijay Bahuguna as Ms. Gandhi could not make it due to viral fever.
Congratulating the people of Uttarakhand on the State's 11th Foundation Day, Ms. Gandhi said the simple and hardworking people of the region would benefit when the project became operational. A train to these remote interiors would mean a big push to the local economy through tourism, pilgrimage and local eco-friendly industries.
The foundation stone was laid by Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi and Defence Minister A.K. Antony. Union Minister Harish Rawat, Pauri MP Satpal Maharaj, State Congress president Yashpal Arya were also present.
In Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri took strong exception to the State government not having been taken on board for this people-centric project. “Development should never be linked with politics and it would have been better if the Centre had sought our help and cooperation rather than playing hide and seek,” Mr. Khanduri said adding that he had registered his protest with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Mr. Khanduri asked what had happened to a similar ceremony held at Rishikesh in 1997.