Aam aadmi hogs limelight, again | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Aam aadmi hogs limelight, again

The meeting of AICC members underscored the theme of the "aam aadmi" and inclusive growth in the Congress's agenda even as party chief Sonia Gandhi read out her wishlist for PM Manmohan Singh. Saroj Nagi reports.

delhi Updated: Nov 03, 2010 00:20 IST
Saroj Nagi

The meeting of AICC members underscored the theme of the "aam aadmi" and inclusive growth in the Congress's agenda even as party chief Sonia Gandhi read out her wishlist for PM Manmohan Singh.

After she identified inflation as a major challenge and called for measures to further bring down prices, the AICC adopted a statement, calling upon the government to "redouble its efforts to ensure that the prices of essential commodities remain at affordable levels". The stock market and high investment figures do not reflect the problems of the majority, Gandhi said.

She also underlined the responsibility of states in checking prices by streamlining PDS and acting against hoarders and blackmarketeers. "States readily claim credit for central schemes but are quick to blame price rise on the Centre."

According to Gandhi, while high economic growth helps fund development, it needs to be not only inclusive but also environmentally sustainable — a remark that must have delighted Jairam Ramesh. Calling for a balance between the two, she quoted former PM Indira Gandhi: "Whenever the environment is damaged, a bit of India dies."

The PM also focused on inclusive governance and asked Congressmen to bring the party closer to the "aam aadmi".

He said his government has worked for the common man and pushed for inclusive growth through programmes like the job guarantee scheme, Bharat nirman and schemes for minority-dominated districts. "But our work has not ended. Our determination in the coming days is to remove the shortcomings…" he assured.

In her 20-minute speech, Gandhi called for infusing new strength in the party whose resilience has been often tested. "We cannot just remain an effective election machine which starts working during elections," she said praising Rahul Gandhi's efforts to broadbase the Youth Congress and NSUI through organisational polls.

Recently, PM's media advisor Harish Khare had dubbed the Congress status quoist which gets active during elections.

In a message to allies, Gandhi said coalitions did not mean the party has signed away its right to strengthen its political base. The polls in 10 states would be a big test for the party, she said.

She called for giving peace a chance in J&K through a "political solution" that addresses the people's alienation and emotional needs.