UPA Ready To Extend Full Support To Resolve J-K Issue : Rahul Gandhi

27 April 2009
Etalaat News Service

Islamabad: Assuring every possible help in the overall development of the state of Jammu and Kashmir if voted to power, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that his government is committed to provide full cooperation in bringing peace and development. Addressing an election rally in Islamabad, he said that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) practises 'politics of division and anger' while the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) stands for 'love, friendship and future'. I have not come here today as a politician, but as a young man who extends his hand of friendship to the youth of Kashmir. This time it is not a vote for the National Conference (NC) or the People's Democratic Party (PDP). It for the (Congress-led) UPA or the (Bharatiya Janata Party-led) NDA, Rahul said. 'You have to choose either Manmohan Singh to be the next prime minister of the country or (L.K.) Advani. The choice is yours, he said. Sharing the dais with his friend and state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, 39-year-old Gandhi, said his family had age-old ties with the state. 'I have a family relation with the state. I remember coming here as a young child accompanying my grandmother (Indira Gandhi) just six-seven days before her death. I remember how much love she had for this state,' Gandhi, wearing a traditional Kashmiri cap (karkuli), said. He said his great grandfather and former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had strong ties with Omar's grandfather Sheikh Abdullah. Rahul also said that the state had witnessed a surge in development works during the UPA rule. 'I saw your railway line today. It happened during the UPA rule. Srinagar airport is now an international airport and this all has happened during the UPA rule. 'The UPA wants to carry everybody along on the road to progress while the NDA believes in selective progress of some states of the country,' Rahul told a gathering of nearly 6,000 people. Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, addressing the rally, said that: 'Voting for the NC candidate would be for choosing between peace and war. The UPA wants progress and dialogue with Pakistan for permanent peace in the state. 'The NDA wants war. The decision is yours. The PDP has already indicated that they would side with the NDA in the next Lok Sabha. It is for you to defeat their design by voting for us,' Omar Abdullah said. Besides Abdullah, Rahul was accompanied by Union Water Resources Minister Saif-ud-Din Soz, Congress general secretary Prithviraj Chavan, state Education Minister Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed and the NC candidate for the Islamabad Lok Sabha seat Mirza Mehboob Beg.