Alerting party leaders to the challenge of the general elections ahead, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Friday asked all ministers to get cracking on fulfilling the promises made in the 2009 manifesto.
"Those of you who are in the government should get down to implementing the work left from the promises made in the 2009 manifesto," Gandhi said in her opening remarks at the party's review cum strategy meeting being held in this Haryana town bordering the national capital.
Seeking opinion of the leaders on how to give more depth to the government's welfare measures, she also asked the ministers to work more with party leaders so a balance is achieved in the implementation of these programmes.
"Sometimes the party leaders are dissatisfied as the ministers do not pay attention to their concerns and suggestions," said Gandhi. "There should be a continuous dialogue between the party leaders and those in the government."
She asked ministers to spend more time at party offices and at party events whenever they travelled to a state, especially in the opposition ruled states.
Gandhi did not mention foreign equity in retail but said the government had to take some difficult decisions recently and this must be explained to the people.
She also urged the party and the government to rebut false charges being levelled by the opposition.
"We have around 18 months left for the next Lok Sabha election. We must get ready to face the challenge," Gandhi said.
The one-day meeting of the party is being attended by about 70 people, including ministers and members of the Congress Working Committee.
Billed as an informal Samvad Baithak (brainstorming session), the meeting will also discuss how to create better synergy between the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance government, particularly in the months ahead of the 2014 general elections.