NATIONAL

Return Congress to power: Manmohan

C.K. Chandramohan

ROORKEE: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appealed to the people to return the Congress to power in Uttarakhand as that was the only way to sustain the rapid development pace set by the Narain Dutt Tiwari Government over the past five years.

Addressing an election rally here over the weekend, Dr. Singh said the State, which had been left in near bankruptcy after the two-year interim rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party, had been catapulted from the morass by the hard work of the Tiwari Government and its cooperation with the UPA Government at the Centre.

``We have rechristened Uttaranchal as Uttarakhand as per the aspirations of the masses, paved the way for massive industrialisation in Hardwar, Pant Nagar and other areas, given government jobs to over 46,000 youths and opened up employment and self-employment windows for a larger number," he said.

The Congress planned to promote the rural economy by setting up special horticulture zones, cottage industries and upgrade the health services to provide the very best to the poorest. A medical facility as good as the AIIMS was being set up in Rishikesh and the G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology was being developed into a higher area of excellence, he said.

Showering praise on Mr. Tiwari, the Prime Minister said the `Vikas purush' had converted the backward hill State into a vibrant area where everyone could play a role in national development. Power supply had been provided to nearly 10,000 villages and efforts were on to electrify all villages by 2009. An effort would be made to provide drinking water in all villages and provide faster communication through good roads and rail network. The Kathgodam Express running between Kathgodam and Dehra Dun had been made a daily train to bridge the distance between Kumaon and Garhwal.

Mr. Tiwari urged the people of Hardwar district to cast a vote for the continued industrialisation of the area.