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UDF best bet for State's progress: Manmohan

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SEEKING VOTE FOR DEVELOPMENT: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greets the people at a UDF election meeting in Payyoli, near Kozhikode, on Thursday. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is also seen. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup
SEEKING VOTE FOR DEVELOPMENT: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greets the people at a UDF election meeting in Payyoli, near Kozhikode, on Thursday. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is also seen. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

Staff Reporter

Track record of UDF Government impressive, he says

Payyoli (KOZHIKODE): On the second day of his election campaign in the State on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reiterated the need for giving a second chance to the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) to continue with its development programmes in the State.

Addressing a fairly large crowd at Payyoli Government Higher Secondary School in the afternoon, Mr. Singh said that the Governments led by A.K. Antony and Oommen Chandy had worked hard to bring back the State on the right economic track.

"If we have to eliminate chronic poverty we will have to provide employment to the youth. The focus of any Government should be for rapid social and economical development. The track record of the UDF Government is too impressive on these aspects," Mr. Singh said.

Without blaming either the Left Democratic Front (LDF) or the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M), Mr. Singh said that Kerala had missed the bus of industrialisation.

However, with its excellent human resources, vast knowledge base and hard working people, the State could develop into a hub of industrial activity.

He appreciated the UDF Government for envisaging a path of development in the last five years. It had established 80 engineering colleges enabling 12,000 students to join engineering courses every year. It had set up many medical colleges also. Now students need not go outside the State for admissions.

The UDF Government had taken care of all sections of society. Farmers, women and destitute had benefited out of several schemes such as Ashraya and Kudumbasree projects. The efforts of the UDF Government had started bearing fruit, he said.

"Kerala achieved over nine per cent growth last fiscal, which is above the national average and the highest in the country. This also proved that the State needed to build on the foundation the UDF had laid."

It was after a long gap that Kerala got the support of a Government at the Centre. Many landmark schemes that were being drawn up would change the face of the State, he said.

The Rs.2,000-crore Vallarpadam Container Terminal Project at Kochi would bring in related development and create more job opportunities to transform the State.

"Likewise, the Rs.6,500-crore Rajiv Gandhi Power Project at Kayamkulam will pave the way for solving the power crises in the State. But Kerala needed to do more like mobilising investments and creating better higher education so that the youths will not have to go searching for jobs," he said.

Mr. Singh said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre had created a ministry for the welfare of the minorities. It had established another ministry for overseas Indians to look into the well being of over 40 lakh non-resident Indians.

The Ministry of External Affairs was constantly trying to improve relationship with West Asia. The King of Saudi Arabia was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

India had been able to plan projects such as establishing gas links with Iran and Qatar. Investments were also pouring in from many countries. India's strong footing with West Asia would provide more jobs for the youth of Kerala, Mr. Singh said.

Our Palakkad Staff Reporter writes Addressing an election rally of the United Democratic Front (UDF) at Pattambi in Palakkad district on Thursday, the Prime Minister urged the people to vote the UDF back to power, as "it is a progressive, forward looking development alliance".

"The UDF is the best bet for the progress of Kerala. The UDF had provided a stable and purposeful government in Kerala. It was able to take forward the State on many fronts. If we have to eliminate poverty and provide employment, Kerala should make rapid progress. For that, the State has to be made a hub of industrial and economic activity."

"This is the path of rapid development, which the UDF alone can take. Only the UDF can provide the right climate for investment. The track record of the UDF Government is impressive in taking development forward," he said. To help farmers, the National Horticulture Corporation was formed that would cover 10 districts of Kerala. He said that considering the rich cultural heritage of Kerala, the Kerala Kalamandalam was given deemed university status.

The election rally was addressed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala.

The Prime Minister introduced the UDF candidates of the district at the public meeting.

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