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Regain lost ground, says Sonia

india Updated: Nov 18, 2007 00:41 IST
Anil Anand
Anil Anand
Hindustan Times
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At the AICC session here on Saturday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi made a comment that Congressmen in states where the party has lost its base had been dying to hear: Being in a coalition does not mean forsaking one’s political space forever. It’s a balancing act, a political challenge that should not make the party give up its quest for regaining lost ground.

Plain-speak

Referring to inner party squabbles, Sonia expressed dismay that the groundswell of goodwill could not be translated into votes at many places due to internal conflicts
On Gujarat, she said “we must be in the forefront to combat those subverting Mahatama Gandhi’s legacy in the state of his birth.”

The party chief also availed of the opportunity to put chronic individualists and party poopers on notice. She said they should desist from going public with their differences once the party has taken a stand on a policy or issue. “No one can go against the party’s views once it formulates its policy on a particular issue,” warned Sonia. “No post or faction is bigger than the party.”

In this connection, she referred to the party workers’ oft-repeated complaint of being ignored by ministers and party functionaries.

Those holding positions have a special responsibility towards the party. “They must realise that they have been given a chance while there could be others equally competent to serve in the same positions,” she remarked. Referring to inner party squabbles, the Congress president expressed dismay that the groundswell of goodwill could not be translated into votes at many places due to internal conflicts.

This was true of UP where the organisation has to be built from scratch.

She asked partymen to close ranks and work unitedly to face the coming electoral challenges — in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh in a few weeks from now and thereafter when the 15th Lok Sabha is to be elected.

Setting the tone for the daylong session, Sonia praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for delivering on the party’s promises and those of the UPA, attacked the BJP’s divisive agenda and showcased the Congress as the sole upholder of secular values.

Sonia said the Congress rejects the politics that seeks to remove the social context from economic development.

Launching a broadside against the saffron parivar for their attacks on Gandhian ideals, she particularly mentioned the happenings in Gujarat. “We must be in the forefront to combat those subverting Mahatama Gandhi’s legacy in the state of his birth.”