The 83rd plenary of the Congress ended on Monday with party chief Sonia Gandhi expressing satisfaction over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurance that he would take forward her five-point agenda to combat corruption.
Her plan included fast-tracking cases of corruption by public servants and politicians, transparency in public procurements and protection to whistleblowers.
“We will take the issue of corruption head-on and demonstrate through our action, and not words, that we mean what we say,” she said in her concluding remarks.
Gandhi continued with her BJP bashing and charged it with levelling “baseless accusations” against her party. “It is absolutely essential that we confront our opponents aggressively. All accusations levelled by the opposition, especially the BJP, are blatantly baseless and unfounded.”
As part of the strategy to counter the Opposition and strengthen the party organisation, Gandhi announced that a “jan jagran abhiyan (mass contact programme)” would soon be launched to expose the BJP’s “double-speak” and highlight the UPA’s achievements.
“At least one public meeting should be held in every assembly constituency. The PCCs must take the lead,” she said.
To get systematic feedback on implementation of UPA’s flagship programmes, PCCs have been directed to appoint a monitoring committee, which will submit report every quarter.
Gandhi announced that the AICC would set up a coordination committee in Congress-ruled states for regular interaction between the government and the party.
The move comes amid mounting complaints over the two pulling in different directions. Similar committees would also be established in Opposition-ruled states for greater cohesion within the party structure.
Keeping in mind election in five states next year, Gandhi had words and advice praise for workers: “There is simply 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.”
The Congress has begun preparations for a “chintan shivir (brainstorming session)” — likely to be held in Jaipur in March — on the lines of Pachmarhi and Shimla conclaves to reassess its position.