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    Cong committed to development of all: PM

    Barpeta: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said Congress governments are committed to the development of all communities and sections and made no distinction between Hindus and Muslims.

    "The Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and the Tarun Gogoi-led government in Assam have undertaken several schemes for the development of minorities as we are committed to improve their social and economic condition," Singh told an election rally in Barpeta.

    He said of the 13 minority-dominated districts in Assam, Barpeta was prominent among them. "I have been told that here too the implementation of various schemes for the minorities is going on very well."

    The UPA government has taken up a 15-point programme for the development of minorities with special emphasis on providing better education facilities. "I congratulate Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his team for bringing rapid development in the state and to take the good work forward, I appeal to the people of Assam to return them to power," he said.

    According to Singh, the situation during AGP rule 10 years ago was so bad that government employees did not receive salaries, there was complete breakdown in law and order and development had come to a complete standstill.

    Under the Tarun Gogoi government the situation was the complete opposite with new engineering and medical colleges coming up, rapid agricultural and industrial development and many corporate houses willing to invest in the state creating employment opportunities for the youth.

    Appealing to the people to vote for the Congress, he said, "We appeal to the people of Assam to give the party another chance to take the good work further forward." He said the Congress governments are "sensitive to the needs of the people and initiated several schemes for the uplift of backward sections of society".

    Under Bharat Nirman programme, government was trying to ensure roads, drinking water, electricity and housing in rural areas, while under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Food Security Mission and Food Security Act, the poor and weaker sections would be provided foodgrains at lower rates, he said.

    The government has also ensured 100 days employment for the poor under the NREGA, better health facilities under NRHM and the Right to Education Act, he said.

    "We will soon bring in the Food Security Act soon so that the poor will get foodgrains at lower rates," he said. On the ULFA issue, Singh said that talks with the leaders were positive and hoped that a solution would be worked out soon.

    The Prime Minister said he was convinced that the people would not be misguided by false promises of AGP and BJP and would vote for the Congress to strengthen the hands of Sonia Gandhi. He also wished the people for the forthcoming Rongali Bihu festival.