Sonia blows SPF trumpet
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 05: Though Sonia Gandhi refrained from directly stating that the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act would be repealed from the State, she nevertheless played to the gallery and reminded the people that it was the Congress led SPF Government which lifted the Disturbed Area Status from the seven Assembly segments of Imphal Municipal Council, that rendered AFSPA ineffective.

Addressing a mammoth public meeting at Hatta Kangjeibung today, Sonia Gandhi said that the Congress led Government at Delhi is minutely studying the recommendations submitted by the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee.

The Government will work according to the wishes and aspirations of the people, said the AICC chief though she stopped short of actually stating that the controversial Act would be repealed.

Seeking to strike a chord with the people, Gandhi said that the principle of the Congress party is not to tamper with the existing boundary of the States and assured the gathering that the territorial integrity of Manipur would not be compromised at all.

�Guns and military might will not be able to solve the problem of insurgency,� said Gandhi while reiterating that the only way is political dialogue.

It is important that the people unitedly stand against all violence, exhorted the Congress leader.

Acknowledging the communal amity amongst the different communities living in Manipur, Gandhi observed that the Congress is committed to fostering communal ties and brotherly co-existence.

It was with the help and co-operation of the people that the Congress led SPF Government was able to complete it full five years in office, said Gandhi and urged the people to continue to extend their co-operation.

Blowing the trumpet of the SPF Government, Gandhi claimed that Kangla was handed over to the people during the reign of the SPF Government and added that efforts are on to declare Kangla as a World Heritage site.

Works have been taken up to ensure supply of drinking water and electricity to the interior parts of the State.

Ever since the SPF Government came to power, it has been able to ride over the financial crisis and a new thrust has been given to developmental works, claimed the AICC chief.

�I have come here to seek the support of the people so that other developmental projects in the pipeline can be implemented,� said Sonia Gandhi further.

The AICC chief also had special words for the women of Manipur and acknowledge the role played by the women in combating a number of social evils in society.

The courage of the Manipuri women needs to be emulated by the women of other States, she exhorted.

A large number of Congress workers, supporters and candidates of the party were present at the meeting.