Chandigarh, May 21 – Rich tributes were paid to former Prime Minister of India, Mr Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary by Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda at a function in Ambala City today where he announced to set up a woman college as Mr Gandhi had laid emphasis on empowerment of women.The Chief Minister, who was addressing a largely attended function organized by MLA Ambala and former Union Minister, Mr Venod Sharma to mark the death anniversary of Mr Rajiv Gandhi, described Ambala as the gateway of Haryana, adding that the Congress Government had spent more than Rs 1330 crore on development of Ambala district since he assumed office in his first tenure in 2005. As compared to it, Mr Hooda said that the previous Government led by Mr Om Parkash Chautala had spent only Rs 362.95 crore from 1999 to 2005 for development of Ambala district.
Mr Hooda described Mr Rajiv Gandhi as an institution and said that it was because of his farsightedness that today India has emerged as a global power and was among top ranking countries. He reminded that it was Mr Rajiv Gandhi who promoted Information Technology and took steps for setting up of Krishi Gyan Kendras. He said that when Mr Rajiv Gandhi used to talk about introduction of computers, his opponents would say that it would minimize jobs, but today computers have given employment to our youth not only within India, but also abroad. Although he did not stay long with us, but it was because of path shown by him that today India was among the front runners in Information Technology. He regretted that although Mr Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation of massive development, yet he could not see its progress. The present UPA Government is functioning under the guidance of UPA Chairperson, Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to realize the dreams of Mr Rajiv Gandhi. It was because of their policies that India maintained its development despite recession in the world.
Mr Hooda said that he was fortunate for having an opportunity to work with Mr Rajiv Gandhi who used to keep the workers of the party in high esteem. Mr Hooda said that whatever he was today, it was because of the blessings of Mr Rajiv Gandhi, as it was he who for the first time gave him opportunity to contest an election. Thereafter, he was given opportunity in 1991 to contest against the then Deputy Prime Minister, Ch. Devi Lal. Mr Hooda said that it was because of inspiration which he got from Mr Rajiv Gandhi that he could defeat Ch. Devi Lal.
Mr Hooda was all praise for the style of functioning of Mr Venod Sharma, the local MLA, adding that the people of the area were lucky enough to have such a representative. He assured of rapid development of Ambala saying that if he and Mr Venod Sharma could not accelerate the pace of development in Ambala, no one else would be able to do so. He said that for him, Mr Venod Sharma was also a close friend and it was in his company and that of Mr Nirmal Singh that they together worked under Mr Rajiv Gandhi in Youth Congress.
The Chief Minister questioned the massive gathering to let him know of any major decision taken by previous Government of INLD for the welfare of farmers, the poor and weaker sections of the society. To this, the entire audience raised hands and waved to join the issue with Mr Hooda that the previous Government did not undertake any welfare measure. To this Mr Hooda said that although he was not in habit of criticizing others, but the people could compare the development works of his Government with that of the INLD. Those who had been projecting themselves as the well-wishers of the farmers and were in politics, had, in fact, not done anything for the peasants.
While speaking on the occasion, Mr Venod Sharma also paid rich tributes to Mr Rajiv Gandhi and apprised Mr Hooda about the problems of the people of the area. He thanked Mr Hooda for sanctioning bus stand and railway over bridge in Ambala City and resolving the problem of drinking water, sewerage and drainage and construction of a ‘Sabzi Mandi’. He said that it was the result of Mr Hooda’s efforts for massive development that Congress could return to power in the State.
While referring to the approval granted by Mr Hooda to the setting up of an Industrial Model Township in Ambala on the pattern of Gurgaon and Faridabad, Mr Sharma said that those who were opposing this project for political reasons were in fact not interested in the development of Ambala. He said that the farmers, whose land would be acquired for the project, have been assured by the Chief Minister that they would get compensation on revised rates and other incentives too would be given to them. He urged those opposing the project to desist from politicizing this issue. He said that although there had been all round development in Ambala Constituency during last six years and thousands of youth have got employment, yet industrial development of the area was necessary to resolve the problem of unemployment.
Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, President, Mr Phool Chand Mullana said that Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda would again become the Chief Minister of Haryana for the third consecutive term. He said that a large number of people were joining Congress daily after leaving other political parties because they have interest in the policies of this 125 years old political party. He said that while Congress has a long history of sacrifices, the other parties have made the people to sacrifice.
Others who also addressed the function included Chief Parliamentary Secretaries, Mr Ram Kishan Gujjar, Mr Zile Ram Sharma, MLA Panchkula, Mr D.K. Bansal, former Minister, Mr Nirmal Singh, former MLAs Mr Arjun Singh, Mr Radhey Shyam Sharma and Mr Subhash Chaudhary and Political Advisor to Chief Minister, Prof. Virender Singh.