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Dr Singh country's best candidate for PM: Sonia

April 13, 2009 15:56 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi today said Manmohan Singh is the most suitable candidate for the post of prime minister in the country with his "total honesty and experience".

Claiming that Singh as PM was in the interest of the nation, the UPA chairperson told a rally in Itanagar that his government had taken several important steps for the development and security of the country.

Central schemes like the Bharat Nirman, NERGA and JNUREM were implemented to create jobs and develop infrastructure. Under the NERGA, four crore people, including 24,000 in Arunachal, have benefitted, she said.

"A wave of progress and happiness now prevails all over the country," Sonia, who was clad in a 'Tasang' and 'Gale', a local dress of the Nyshi tribe with metal waist belt necklaces made of coloured beads, said.

"The easternmost state, where the sun rises first in the country, should not remain in darkness because of shortage of power," she said, assuring the rally that the Congress government had cleared mega hydro power projects with a total capacity of 23,000 MW in the state.

Criticising the BJP, she said, "The opposition leaders do not know anything more than their self interest."

She said Arunachal Pradesh occupied a special place in her heart as memories of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were associated with the state.

Sonia said owing to the farsightedness of Nehru, the indigenous people progressed and were able to preserve their unique cultures. The land, formerly known as NEFA, got the status of Union territory and statehood during the regimes of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

But during NDA rule, she said, it did not get any benefit. Only after the UPA came to power in 2004, benefits started pouring into the state once again.

It got a huge package of Rs 24,000 crore when Singh visited the state for three days last year. The Lone university also got a central status by the UPA government.

Sonia said the proposal for a 1840 km trans-Arunachal highway connecting most district headquarters and a rail link also got a clearance under the PM's package.

Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu alleged that BJP leader L K Advani came here in 2003 as Deputy Prime Minister and promised to build a 500-bed hospital and give Rs 225 crore grant to the state, which never materialised.

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