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UPA record better than NDA’s: Sonia
Tells workers to take Opposition head-on, expose its ‘doublespeak’
Anita Katyal
Our Political Correspondent

New Delhi, December 20
Congress president Sonia Gandhi today ended the 83rd plenary session with a stirring call to party workers to aggressively counter the Opposition campaign against it on corruption and propagate the UPA Government’s achievements since it has a far better record than the NDA regime.

Wrapping up the two-day deliberations, she also unveiled an action plan for party workers for this purpose even as she declared the party’s intent to "take corruption head-on and demonstrate through actions and not words alone that we mean what we say.”

Mindful of the Opposition’s upcoming nation-wide campaign against the Congress on corruption, Sonia asked the party to counter this with a “jan jagran abhiyan ” through the country to focus on the government’s achievements and also to expose the BJP’s doublespeak. At least one public meeting should be held in every Assembly constituency, she said.

Speaking in the same vein as she did in her opening speech, she launched yet another broadside against the BJP, saying the party had nothing to hide and urged the cadres to counter the Opposition charges that are “blatantly baseless and unfounded.”

“I can say with pride that we have simply no reason to have any doubt on our record... our record stands out especially when we compare it to the record of the NDA... to what they achieved during their time. It is our duty to counter the accusations that are blatantly baseless, unfounded... being levelled by the Opposition, particularly by the BJP”, she said.

Having recently suffered a crushing defeat in Bihar and faced with a series of Assembly elections early next year, the Congress president used the opportunity to boost the morale of party workers while urging them to remain united. Reminding them of the electoral challenges ahead, she said told the cadres that there is no alternative to unity, hard work and discipline. “There is no place for complacency and taking anything for granted and hoping that from somewhere above, things will happen,” she added.

With many workers complaining about lack of coordination between the party and the government, Sonia said that coordination committees will be set up in states to bridge this communication gap. "In states, where we are in power, the AICC will set up a coordination committee to ensure regular and close interaction between the government and the party organisations, " she said, adding that similar committees will be established in Opposition-ruled states for greater cohesion between the legislative wing and the party organisation.

Sonia directed all the state units to constitute monitoring committees to get systematic feedback on the implementation of the UPA's flagship programmes which should submit a report every quarter to the AICC.

She reiterated the move to hold a brainstorming session or “Chintan Shivir” on the lines of the one held in Pachmarhi and Shimla, stating that preparations on it will begin soon. Sonia Gandhi had told the plenary about the plans to hold such a brainstorming session in her opening address yesterday, which, she added, will give the party an “opportunity to refresh our perspectives on crucial national issues and review the functioning of our organisation.”




Congmen hail Rahul, Sonia
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 20
No Congress gathering can be complete without soulful references to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and crown prince Rahul Gandhi.

The two-day Congress plenary which ended today was replete with examples when party veterans and youngsters took turns to praise the mother-son duo for their selfless and valuable service to the country, urging Rahul in particular to become more active and “put in place his own team”.

Home Minister P Chidambaram drew a similarity between the young Congress leader and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, saying that Rahul’s yesterday speech was a reflection of his father’s thoughts

Describing Rahul’s speech as “mature and thoughtful,” Chidambaram said: “If you had closed your eyes and heard his speech, you would have thought it was Rajiv Gandhi speaking 25 years ago.” Chidambaram said, explaining that Rahul reflected his father's views about disconnect between the people and the government which needs to be changed. In their speeches, members of the youth brigade - Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia Deependra Singh Hooda - expressed desire to work under Rahul’s “leadership.”

“The youth of the country are ready to work under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi,” said Sachin Pilot, son of late Rajesh Pilot who worked with Rajiv Gandhi. Seconding the thought, Jyotiraditya Scindia also said he was ready to work under “Rahulji’s leadership."

Senior party leader Digvijay Singh, perceived to be the part of Rahul’s close circle, also advised the young leader to put in place his own team.





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