Unfettered by the dismal show in the recently concluded assembly polls where the Congress lost four major states, both party president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought to attack the BJP’s campaign, particularly Narendra Modi’s projection as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
Both leaders did not directly name the BJP or Modi in their speech at the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, but Gandhi said, “Our opponents advocate policies of divisiveness and sectarian interests. They mock our secular ethos.”
Singh, elaborating on the performance of the UPA government, added that the Congress should not “simply talk of firm leadership without specifying for what purpose it would be used for and what decisions will be taken.”
Singh also took a dig at Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which made an impressive debut after promising several pro-people sops. He said, “Those promises should not be made, which are outside the realm of possibilities.”
Gandhi didn’t mince words to blame the infighting within the party behind the dismal performance and said, “In Chhattisgarh, had we shown greater unity of purpose, we might have succeeded.”
While Singh maintained that the assembly results are not necessarily a prelude to the general election, he also pointed out several areas especially on the government’s initiative to tackle economy and corruption and remarked that “it is not being projected sufficiently that we have actually changed the system.”
Strongly defending the government’s track record on economy, Singh asserted: “some think... the government does not care about growth but only about inclusiveness. This is a completely mistaken impression. We care deeply for both.”