At the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting on Tuesday, Sonia Gandhi outlined the broad political direction for her party and government-to-be while the Congress’s prime ministerial nominee Manmohan Singh unveiled his vision of governance.
The meeting elected Sonia Gandhi as its chairperson and she named Singh as “the Prime Minister”, setting the stage for his installation to the post for the second time, possibly on May 22.
Each hailed the leadership provided by the other while Singh also praised Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi, the party’s star campaigner, who watched the proceedings from the last row and joined the others in thumping their desks.
The aam aadmi, who voted the party to power, figured prominently in the CPP’s resolution. The resolution said the people had voted for secularism and inclusive growth and for a national party, which is also sensitive to regional and local aspirations.
In his acceptance speech after being nominated CPP leader, Singh promised to set time-bound targets for implementation of the party’s election promises and each ministry’s programmes and policies. “We will undertake a quarterly review of programme implementation by each ministry,’’ he assured party MPs at Parliament’s Central Hall.
Clearly, performance and delivery would be his buzzwords to meet what Sonia called, the “onerous responsibilities’’ associated with the mandate.
Singh promised to improve governance, give topmost priority to internal security, better implementation of welfare schemes, maintenance of communal harmony and peace, reviving economic growth and creating new employment opportunities. “A new golden era begins for the Congress. The five years in front of us could well be a decisive half decade,’’ he said, saying that the government would be “a catalyst of change’’.
The government will be a mix of experience and youth — with some one-term or two-time MPs being drafted into the government. Non-perrformers would be out while some seniors may be accommodated as governors when approximately 10 Raj Bhavans fall vacant in the next two months.
Outlining the party’s political direction, Sonia said, “We were able to convince the people that their future is secure in the hands of the party and government that is committed to secularism and works for development, equality and inclusiveness. We have earned their support and we must keep their trust.’’