No discrimination in funds allocation to states by UPA: Sonia

Puducherry: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said the UPA Government did not discriminate among states in allocation of funds unlike the NDA regime when states had to go `like beggars` to the Centre for getting their due.

"We do not play politics with development and have extended unprecedented assistance to all state governments irrespective of their political affiliations," she told an election rally here seeking a renewed mandate for the Congress government in the Union Territory.

She alleged that when the BJP-led NDA was in power it was not giving the states their due. "The states had to go like beggars to ask for financial assistance and to get even what was their due," she said.

"But unlike them, our Congress-led UPA Government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has given all the states even more than what they demanded. We do not play politics with development as we believe development has to reach all states of the country equally," she said.

However, Sonia Gandhi said "it does a great deal when both the alliance at the Centre and at the state level are on the same plane. This would mean a better and smoother functioning and also a synergy and better coordination in implementing developmental schemes."

"Above all it will also guarantee that funds transferred from the Centre to the states were utilised in the best manner possible for welfare of the people," she said.

Sonia Gandhi said UPA had strengthened the foundation of secularism, instilled confidence in minorities and provided new future for the young boys and girls.

The UPA chairperson expressed the hope of passing the Women`s Reservation Bill `very soon`.

Appealing to the electorate to vote for the Congress-led combine, she said Puducherry had become a role model in maintaining social peace and harmony, in health and education sectors, including in providing free medical education.