Accusing the BJP of playing politics over providing relief to flood victims of Jammu and Kashmir, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today said the ruling party at the Centre promised the sky but did not follow it up with action.
Gandhi, who is here to campaign for Congress candidate Usman Majid for the forthcoming Assembly elections, said the polls are taking place at a time when people of Kashmir are yet to come to terms with the devastation caused by floods.
“Elections are taking place at a time when you have faced a natural disaster (floods). It does not feel good to talk politics (but) the relief and rehabilitation work is going on a very slow pace,” the Congress president said at an election rally here, 45 kms from Srinagar.
Gandhi said the UPA government went all out to provide succour to the victims of the 2005 earthquake that affected vast areas along the Line of Control, particularly Uri sector of Baramulla district.
“What has happened now when there is a BJP government (at the Centre)? It seems they are not interested. BJP leaders came and promised the sky but did not give anything. Even what the state (government) asked was not given,” she said.
The state government has submitted a comprehensive package of Rs 44,000 crore for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the flood affected people and infrastructure in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs 745 crore assistance to the state when he visited the state on Diwali on October 23.
Gandhi lauded the role played by the volunteers in providing succour to the flood-hit saying, “they did whatever was possible”.
“Congress has an all-weather relation with people of Kashmir. My family roots bring me here time and again,” she said.
Highlighting the steps taken by UPA government at the Centre for Jammu and Kashmir, Gandhi said Wullar beautification project was sanctioned in 2011 and a new air strip and two regional councils were promised.
“Congress has done lot of work for the people of the state. The views of Congress for development of Jammu and Kashmir are very clear. Don’t show dreams which are not possible on the ground,” she said.
Asking the people to vote for Congress for safeguarding secular values, Gandhi said Congress believes in secularism and to keep away communal powers, “we decided to have a coalition government”.
Earlier, addressing the gathering, JKPCC chief Saifuddin Soz said, a vote for BJP in the Assembly elections will mean a vote for the RSS.
Without naming the Prime Minister, he said, “This man is running foreign policy as well as internal policy without consulting anyone, furthering the RSS agenda”.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that all political parties, except Congress, had entered into secret pact with the BJP to be part of the new government.
Without naming any political party, Azad said, “We will have to defeat them.”
Once a hot-bed of militancy, this constituency today wore a festive look as flags of all major political parties fluttered across the district.
Bandipora and 14 other constituencies go to polls in the first phase of elections in the state on November 25.