While directing party leaders to gear up for the year-end assembly polls and the Lok Sabha polls, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday asked her party to dispense with the “quota system”' of ticket distribution and put up a united face.
“We have to change the old practice (of giving tickets to leaders/groups for their supporters)….The selection of candidates should be purely on the basis of merit,” Sonia told the extended Congress Working Committee meeting, which was dominated by poll talk and the need to implement the Antony committee report's recommendation of early declaration of candidates.
Sonia attacked the right wing political parties — BJP, RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP — for launching a “vicious communal campaign” whenever elections were nearing (as in Orissa).
Regional leaders, particularly those from poll-bound states of Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, said they were confident of victory provided there was unity and no infighting.
Speakers were of the opinion that the nuclear deal would help the party in the polls.
Exhorting the leaders to debunk the false propaganda launched by the BJP, the Left and other opponents on it, Sonia called on them to propagate the UPA's many landmark achievements. The Prime Minister, hailed as Singh is king by the Punjab leaders, reassured the meeting that only the 123 agreement was binding on the country.
On inflation, Chidambaram said if the current decline continued the country would turn the corner by November.