PM's schemes have lifted millions out of poverty: Sonia

Sonia GandhiCongress President Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Development Studies at Neyyar, New Delhi. (Reuters)

UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi Sunday said the UPA government under the leadership of "our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has lifted millions out of poverty through social welfare schemes''.

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Inaugurating the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Development Studies at Neyyar near Delhi— a venture of the state unit of the Congress for research and training — she said the prime concern of the UPA government has been development of the nation while being socially inclusive.

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The Congress president said Rajiv Gandhi would have been proud of the institute and of those who have made it a reality. "The institute should see that it creates young leaders who would take the country forward.'' Apart from research, she said, the institute should train students to gain practical knowledge which would help the country.

Later, inaugurating a government health scheme for children below the age of 18, Gandhi said, "I am extremely happy to know that the government is giving importance to health sector. It is introducing an ambitious scheme for expanding the health scheme Arogya Kiran. In this landmark project, which will be implemented with the assistance of the UPA government under the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohanji, the state will bear the treatment expenses of all children under the age of 18 in all government hospitals irrespective of whether they belong to the BPL or APL category.''

The Congress president reached here Sunday afternoon on a two-day visit which would be marked by the launch of a couple of state government projects. Gandhi would also meet leaders of Congress and its allies in Kerala.

IUML and Kerala Congress have already gone public that they would seek the Congress president's intervention in the affairs of the party in Kerala. Kerala Congress (M) leader K M Mani Sunday said Congress state chief Ramesh Chennithala should be included in the Cabinet.

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