Tuesday, August 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

NDA govt under RSS thumb: Sonia
Tribune News Service

Congress President Sonia Gandhi along with daughter Priyanka Gandhi and son-in-law Robert Vadra at 'Vir Bhumi' on the occasion of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's 57th birth anniversary in New Delhi on Monday. — PTI photo

New Delhi, August 20
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today charged the Vajpayee-led NDA Government with acting on the diktats of “narrow-minded” the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and NDA constituents, creating problems and crisis for the country.

Making a scathing attack on the BJP for clinging to power without any philosophy, the Congress Chief said “the power hungry BJP was governing the nation under the diktats of sectarian outfits like the RSS and pressures of its coalition partners.”

“The latest example of its political incompetency is the Agra Summit,” Mrs Gandhi said, inaugurating the National Convention of the Congress Seva Dal on the occasion of 57th birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Dr Kapila Vatsayan, recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award 2000 seems to be lost in deep thought at the presentation ceremony in New Delhi on Monday. Also seen in the picture is former Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao. — PTI photo

Alleging that the policies followed by the NDA government had created a plethora of problems, she said instead of taking concrete steps for the welfare of the people, the BJP-led coalition was interested only in giving making promises to the people.“We are daily witnessing reports about scams and corruption. In most parts of the country, people are concerned about law and order. Incidents in Jammu and Kashmir are making every citizen sad,” she said.

“Corruption had been the credo of this government ever since it came to power,” she said.

Mrs Gandhi regretted that instead of admitting its weaknesses and mistakes, the BJP-led coalition was indulging in blaming others for its shortcomings.

Paying working tributes to Rajiv Gandhi, she said the departed leader strived hard for giving a better deal to the Seva Dal to strengthen the organisation.

Expressing satisfaction that the Seva Dal was observing next one year as “organisation year,” she gave a nine-point action programme to the Seva Dal to strengthen the organisation at all levels.

Priyanka Gandhi with her husband Robert Vadra paying homage at Rajiv Gandhi's samadhi, Vir Bhumi, in New Delhi on Monday. — PTI photo

She exhorted the Seva Dal workers to expose the inefficiency of the government to the people and work for strengthening the Congress structure.

Meanwhile, the nation paid warm tributes to former Prime Minister on the occasion of his 57th birth anniversary.

Prominent leaders, including Lok Sabha Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi, Home Minister L K Advani and Sonia Gandhi were among a large number of Parliamentarians who paid floral tributes to former prime Minister in the historic Central Hall of Parliament.

Also present were Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha Najma Heptullah, Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha P M Sayeed, former Speaker Shivraj Patil, Mr Pranab Mukherjee and Chief Whip of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi.

A booklet on Mr Gandhi brought out by the Lok Sabha Secretariat was also distributed among the distinguished guests.

The Indian Youth Congress organised blood donation camp, a padayatra from Raisina Road to Veer Bhumi and an exhibition of paintings by Rajiv Gandhi to commemorate the late leader’s birth anniversary.

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