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Politicians now a laughing stock: Sonia

Addressing the AICC plenary session in Hyd'bad, Cong chief came down heavily on her partymen. Pics | Suggest remedies

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 00:43 IST

Sharply coming down on her own party leaders for their lavish lifestyles, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday lamented the fact that politicians have become a laughing stock of the people.

"We can't turn a blind eye to the public criticism of both politics and politicians. There are faults in our system itself and we have to take remedial measures," she said in her address to the 82nd AICC plenary session here.

"We have to end this culture of money-power and muscle-power. We have to deal sternly with those using politics as means for their own prosperity," she asserted.

Speaking in chaste Hindi, the Congress chief denounced the lifestyle of many of her party leaders.

"We have several colleagues in our party whose life-styles are very lavish. At times, I feel pained when I see how marriages and birthdays are being celebrated. We give an impression that our sympathy for the poor is a joke," she said.

She clarified that she should not be misunderstood by the party cadres on this issue. "I am all for celebrations but I am opposed to waste and exhibition of money."

She also took to task her colleagues who were misusing their positions. "Our elected representatives at all levels should adhere to a code of conduct and maintain the dignity of their positions," she added.

The UPA Chairperson called upon the Congress cadres to try and change the public opinion about politicians. "We have to take steps so as to ensure that people again start believing in politicians."

Gandhi recalled that the Congress was the only party which supported the Supreme Court when it asked every candidate in an election to give his personal details when the NDA was in power at the Centre.

First Published: Jan 23, 2006 12:45 IST