Congress: J&K Turnout A Victory For Democracy

18 November 2008
The Hindu


New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday described the good turnout in Jammu and Kashmir as a victory for democracy and claimed credit that development work done by the Congress-People’s Democratic Party enthused voters. Reacting to the over 55 per cent voter response in the first phase on Monday, party spokesperson Manish Tewari said it was not only a vote for development of the State but also for the unity and integrity of the country. Considering the situation in the State, where separatists were active and the BJP was encouraging those who wanted Jammu and Kashmir trifurcated, the people responded positively, he said. As for the opposition charge that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government was discriminating against States ruled by other parties, Mr. Tewari said facts and figures countered these allegations. The outlays for the 10th Plan (2002-07), drafted when the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was in power at the Centre, and the 11th Plan (2007-11) would speak for themselves. For instance, among the BJP-ruled States, if Chhattisgarh’s outlay was Rs.11,000 crore during the 10th Plan, it grew to Rs. 53,730 crore in the 11th Plan. In Madhya Pradesh, it was Rs. 26,189 crore and Rs. 70,329 crore. In Rajasthan, the figures were Rs. 27,318 crore and Rs. 71,731 crore. Meanwhile, All-India Mahila Congress chief Prabha Thakur said the party under Sonia Gandhi fielded more women candidates than in the past.