Congress president Sonia Gandhi played the stability card on Tuesday while appealing to the voters in Meghalaya to give her party another chance to rule.

Addressing an election rally at MP Stadium here, Ms. Gandhi said an important factor which helped the Government to carry on with development works was the stability in Meghalaya, which was not always there.

“This [Congress-led coalition] government has been stable… The security situation is also much better. That is why investments have flowed to the State as never before. These investments have boosted entrepreneurship and led to industrialisation. They have also fuelled employment.” While unemployment was still a problem, she had no doubt that if stability and the peaceful environment continued, much more could be done for Meghalaya.

“In order to be able to further sustain what has been done, we need your support. That is why I stand here before you today to reaffirm once again the commitment of the Congress party to continue to work hard for the well being of the people... The Congress party has always stood by Meghalaya. This commitment has always been firm and will never waver... Give us another chance…,” she appealed to the voters. Assembly elections are slated to be held in the State on February 23.

She arrived at the hill town, headquarters of West Garo Hills district, around 1 pm on a chartered helicopter from Jowai and drove straight to the meeting venue here in a cavalcade. Before she rose to speak on the podium, she was quickly attired in “Dakmanda” (the traditional attire of women of the Garos).

Describing Meghalaya as one of the fastest growing States of the northeast region, Ms. Gandhi said it had emerged as a destination for education. She complimented Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who was on dais along with Congress general secretary Ambika Soni and AICC in-charge of Meghalaya Mukul Wasnik, for several achievements — construction of roads and highways, laying railway lines and building schools and additional class rooms, among others.

The stadium at Dakopgre, venue of the meeting, was about a kilometre from the residence the former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Agitok Sangma. It is known as MP stadium as it was built with the funds from MP’s Local Area Development Fund when Mr. Sangma was an MP from the Tura Lok Sabha constituency.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma in his speech, delivered in a mix of English and Garo language, said Plan allocation to Meghalaya had tripled over the past three years. The State had progressed with the tremendous support of the UPA) government at the Centre.