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Azad takes dig at Omar govt for neglect of backward areas

PTI 11 Nov 2014, 21:41:35 PM IST

Jammu: In a veiled attack on the Omar Abdullah government for “utter neglect” of backward areas in Jammu and Kashmir, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today said no development has been added in these area since 2008.

“There is utter neglect and deprivation that the remote and backward areas like Gurez, Tangdhar, and Lolab suffered till 2006. A concerted effort to develop these areas during my tenure as CM was made. However, the same script of neglect is being repeated since 2008,” Azad said.  

Claiming that the backward areas mentioned above were developed during his tenure as chief minister, Azad said that roads, colleges, hospitals, and schools were constructed during the Congress-led regime, and since then no visible improvement is noticed on the ground.  

“Remote, backward, and far flung areas of the state for the first time got serious and undiminished attention of the state government during the Congress-led government from 2006-08,” he said.

Azad served as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir from 2006 to 2008 before being succeeded by Omar Abdullah, who came to power as the head of a coalition government of National Conference and the Congress.  

Appealing the voters to give a decisive mandate to Congress in order to revive the development activities with renewed thrust, Azad said, Congress-led government can ensure continuity and momentum to development in the state.  
The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha also gave an example of the “massive reconstruction” work started by his government after the earthquake in October 2005, and said that “time-tested”, “credible”, and “capable” regime of Congress-led government alone can bring out the flood-ravaged state out of “morass”.

“The massive challenge of reconstruction and rehabilitation cannot be carried out by mere sloganeering or making hollow promises, rather a concerted and coordinated effort is required to rebuild the lives of the people,” he said.

“If development-oriented, clean and transparent governance is what people of flood-ravaged J&K require, people must give chance to Congress party, as its credentials in reconstruction are very well known,” the leader said.

He was speaking in public meetings that took place in Gurez, Tangdhar, and Lolab in support of the Congress candidates and was flanked by Ambika Soni, General Secretary Incharge of the state and Prof Saif-ud-din Soz, PCC President.  

Azad also recalled the special recruitment drives which were carried out for the local youth in the state police and CRPF during his tenure, adding that unemployment is a tough challenge to be addressed with a comprehensive action plan.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambika Soni said that UPA government extended whole-hearted and liberal financial support to the State during the past 10 years, and that maximum infrastructure building like roads, power projects, highways, and railways was undertaken due to the support of the UPA.

Soni also said that two central universities, five medical colleges were sanctioned by the UPA government for the state, besides opening up hundreds of colleges, Polytechnics, Skill Development Centres, schools, etc in the State.