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Congress being tested, will bounce back: Sonia

She tells a crucial meeting of leaders that the party was defeated in assembly elections because it 'couldn't propagate its achievements properly'.

india Updated: Dec 18, 2013 13:22 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday sought to boost the sinking morale of her party rank and file by counting the party's achievements and claimed though the party was facing "trying and challenging circumstances", it was capable of bouncing back.

Addressing a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP), Sonia said: "Adversity always tests us. And it is at such times that it is most important for us to reaffirm our unswerving allegiance to the principles of democracy, secularism, liberalism and inclusiveness."

"These are the abiding values of our party...the Congress way remains the only way in a country like ours defined by diversities," she added.

She said Congress "has done a lot" but lost the assembly polls in four states because "we could not propagate our achievements properly".

Claiming that Congress remains a unique political party in many ways, Gandhi said, "Let us go from here mindful of the challenges ahead but also mindful of the fact that no odds are insurmountable for a party such as ours, for a party with our legacy, with our history and with our track record of achievement."

Gandhi also accused the Opposition of spending much of its time in making "vituperative and completely baseless personal attacks" on Congress and the government including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Congress President said the party and the government can take pride in the fact that despite "very frequent disruptions," they have have been able to get landmark legislations including Lokpal, food security and land bill passed in Parliament.

"Yesterday, the Rajya Sabha passed the historic Lokpal Bill and I fervently hope that it will be approved by the Lok Sabha today. This law is watershed in our fight against corruption, which we began with the historic RTI in 2005," Gandhi said.

While she expressed her happiness over the Union Cabinet approving the Communal Violence Bill, Gandhi did not hide her unhappiness over non-passage of Women's Reservation Bill that seeks to provide 33 percent reservation to women in Parliament and state assemblies.

"I am unhappy we have not been able to get the Women's Reservation Bill passed in the Lok Sabha for want of consensus. But I know this will happen sooner than later. We can have the satisfaction of knowing that we got it approved in the Rajya Sabha," she said.

First Published: Dec 18, 2013 13:16 IST