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Rahul woos youths, farmers

- AICC vice-president campaigns in poll-bound Mizoram

Aizawl, Nov. 21: AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi today promised development, especially welfare of youths, in Mizoram if the Congress was returned to power in the Assembly election on Monday.

Campaigning at Champhai, a district bordering Myanmar, and neighbouring Kolasib district, Rahul reminded people of the Congress’s achievement in strengthening the state’s agricultural backbone with its New Land Use Policy (NLUP).

He said Mizoram had serious problems with its agricultural system and governments over the decades had failed to solve it. “We, the central government and the chief minister, decided to fix this problem once and for all with a special project of Rs 2,800 crore,” he said.

He said the NLUP was one of the biggest projects and had been upgraded 14 times — from Rs 50 crore to Rs 700 crore now — and 1.35 lakh farmers would benefit from it.

He said the project had benefited the youths and farmers by creating more jobs and increasing yield from land. “The NLUP is going to transform the lives of farmers, make their agriculture sustainable and make the them earn lots of money,” he added.

Rahul praised the Lal Thanhawla government for bringing prosperity to the state by implementing the NLUP. He said the “success” of the central project was so great that the Centre was planning to replicate it in other states of the country.

He promised to connect every village through good roads to enable farmers to transport their produce grown under the NLUP as all benefits derived from the policy would be wasted without good roads.

He said the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project was being completed and soon farmers would be able to export their agricultural produce through this road.

He said skill development would be the Congress’s priority to ensure that more Mizo educated youths find employment across the country. “We will also create more jobs for youngsters in the state during the next five years if Congress retains power,” he added.

Besides more specialised institutions to help youths gain skills, he promised setting up of medical colleges while reminding people that the Congress government had already established Mizoram University, the National Institute of Technology (NIT) and the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in the state.

He also said more sports infrastructure would be created to support the youth in various disciplines. “We know the youth of the state have great potential and expect a number of Messi and Ronaldo to come up from here.” Besides construction of three stadiums with artificial grass in the state, a stadium each will also be constructed in every district.

In Champhai district, which shares an international border with Mynamar, Rahul said the Congress would go all out to improve border trade.

He was greeted by large crowds at both venues and accompanied by chief minister Lal Thanhawla and AICC general secretary Luizinho Faleiro. He left for New Delhi after the Kolasib rally.

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