Congress making a mockery of centre-state relations : Khanduri

Dehra Dun: Is the centre or the Congress party financing the proposed Rishikesh-Karanprayag railway line project the foundation stone of which will be laid by AICC president Sonia Gandhi?

If the Congress is funding the project than it comes well within the ambit of being a party function, if not than it is a government function in which the Uttarakhand government should have been equally involved.

This is the contentious issue that Uttarakhand chief minister Maj Gen (retd) B C Khanduri has laid on the eve of the foundation stone being laid by Sonia Gandhi at Gauchar on Wednesday morning.

Terming it as a direct violation of the state-centre relations as imbibed in the Constitution, he said that he would be raising the issue before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“The very fact that the state government had been completely sidelined and ignored, despite the proposed project is of uttermost importance for the development of the region and also that the state government will have to acquire land and hand it over to the Railways for laying down the line, is an attack on the state-centre relations, perhaps being done for the first time in the country”, he said.

Aware that the project could sell turn the tide in the favour of the Congress in the ensuing vidhan sabha elections in the state slated for February next year, Khanduri said that the Congress led UPA government at the centre was playing politics over development of states ruled by non-Congress governments.

“This is not the first instance, but there have been repeated occasions, when the centre has behaves in a step motherly treatment”, he claimed.

Not that the tirade that the chief minister and other BJP leaders want to unleash against the Congress-led UPA government at the centre will minimize the gains for the party at the hustings because of the proposed Rishikesh-Karanprayag railway line, but Khanduri and his colleagues want to ensure that it dilutes the gains to some extent.

For this they intend raking up the cutting short of the industrial package given by the NDA government from 2013 to 2010 and other similar issues.

Meanwhile realizing that the proposed railway line will go a long way in swinging the electorate in their favour, atleast in the Garhwal region, the state Congress leaders are leaving no stone unturned to make it the foundation stone laying ceremony a grand success.

Sonia Gandhi will be addressing a public meeting on the occasion, for which all efforts are being put in to bring in a massive gathering.

The state Congress leaders, however, claim that Sonia Gandhiw as laying the foundation stone in her capacity as the chairman of the national Advisory Council and both the union minister and minister of state for railways would be present on the occasion.

“Amongst other things the project is also vital for the defence of the country and it is only in the properness of things that Sonia Gandhi is laying the foundation stone”, they asserted.

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