On her turf, Sonia cries war
SONIA GANDHI took Rae Bareli by storm today. As she spoke her heart out, launching a frontal attack on her adversaries, she alerted the constituency for the battle ahead. Her people responded in unison, promising to give her adversaries a befitting reply.Updated: Mar 29, 2006 01:37 IST
SONIA GANDHI took Rae Bareli by storm today. As she spoke her heart out, launching a frontal attack on her adversaries, she alerted the constituency for the battle ahead.
Her people responded in unison, promising to give her adversaries a befitting reply.
Striking an emotional chord with the mammoth crowd that had turned up to welcome her, Sonia reminded them of the relationship she enjoyed with them.
And the crowd responded in the same spirit, with the local Guru Singh Sabha offering her a ‘saropa’ (sword) to her in a symbolic gesture.
“We will ensure that all those who fight against her forfeit their deposits,” was the promise she got from her people. Sonia told them that she was the enemy No. 1 for the Opposition.
She said: “every stone is being hurled at me. Every arrow is being aimed at me and every shot is being fired at me.”
“Those who can’t rise above their self-interest think that all others, too, are selfish,” said Sonia. “The Opposition created such an atmosphere as if the Parliament was being used to save me,” said Sonia adding she decided not to care about her adversaries. “I decided to go to those who gave me the membership of Lok Sabha,” said Sonia adding she resigned and came straight to the people of Rae Bareli.
“I am sure you will impart justice and give them a befitting reply,” she said.
Recounting the developments of past week that led to her resignation Sonia said: “See how they have changed now. There is no more talk of morality. They have changed their language. There is silence all around. Now they are cooperating with each other to save each other’s chair.” Sonia said: “I resigned after consulting Rahul and Priyanka.”
“Grief and happiness is shared with your own. I do not know whether I am sharing happiness or grief. Whatever stream of emotions is coming to my mind I am just putting it before you,” said Sonia. Her adversaries picked up the ‘office of profit’ issue to attack her, she said. Office of the National Advisory Council had not been created to serve her interest, she said adding the NAC was just an advisory body created to advise the UPA government on the Common Minimum Programme. The NAC gave its valuable advice impartially to formulate schemes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, she said. “Besides other traditions, there is one truth of struggle that continues to haunt our family,” said Sonia while recalling the struggle that Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi faced during their lifetime.
“All of them were not just prime ministers. They were founders of this great nation,” she said adding that they cared for the nation instead of caring for themselves. “Their opponents continued to oppose them and indulge in malicious propaganda,” she said adding: “but the countrymen stood behind them at that point”.
“Indira and Rajiv laid down their lives for this faith,” she said adding that the Congress stood for values and principles for which the freedom fighters had laid down their lives.
Sonia said the Congress regained power at the Centre after a long struggle.
“Now we have a coalition government at the Centre,” she said adding: “How can the Congress’ adversaries accept this. They are behaving with me in the same manner as they behaved with Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.”
“Man garhant aarop lagate hain” (They make baseless allegations), she said. “Even if there was thunderstorm or lightning they would hold Sonia responsible for it.”
“When I joined politics I knew that my path was difficult. I am not going to give up. I have confidence in you and in your decision-making power,” she said. “Our fight will continue and our caravan will go on,” she said.
Sonia recounted the relationship of Rae Bareli with five generations of the Nehru-Gandhi family beginning from the days of Moti Lal Nehru.
Also present on the occasion were local Congress leaders, Mohsina Kidwai and Sanjay Singh.
First Published: Mar 29, 2006 01:37 IST