New Delhi: Buffeted by staggering scams and
controversies over suspected involvement of right wing
elements in terrorism, the Congress today unveiled a
five-point action plan to deal with corruption and counter
attacked BJP by demanding probe into "links" between RSS and
its affiliates and terror.
A party plenary attended by over 15,000 delegates held
against the backdrop of 2G spectrum, Adarsh and CWG scams
heard Congress President Sonia Gandhi as well as her son Rahul
Gandhi calling for strict and speedy action against
corruption, including those involving politicians and
bureaucrats in a "defined time-frame".
In her Presidential address on the opening day of the
two-day conclave at Burari on the outskirts of Delhi, Sonia
Gandhi unveiled a five-point action plan to battle corruption
by fast-tracking all cases against public servants including
politicians "like us".
She called for taking forward the proposal of
State-funding of elections, legislative and clear procedures
to ensure transparency in public procurement and shedding of
discretionary powers by Chief Ministers and all Ministers,
including at the Centre, especially in land allotments as they
An open competitive system of exploiting natural
resources was also needed, she said.
Sonia Gandhi having laid the roadmap to battle
corruption, the government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh is expected to follow up by taking executive action.
The conclave was also being held against the backdrop of
the controversy surrounding Rahul Gandhi`s remarks to US
Ambassador Timothy Roemer Hindu radicalism posed a bigger
threat than terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Rahul Gandhi confined his speech to corruption without
touching on the issue communalism and terror.
The Congress Plenary raised the pitch against saffron
forces by demanding a probe into their "links" with terror
after Sonia Gandhi condemned both majority and minority
communalism as dangerous and said it should be defeated.
Her condemnation of both majority and minority
communalism is seen as a damage-control exercise against the
backdrop of controversy surrounding Rahul Gandhi`s comments.
The Plenary unanimously adopted a political resolution
which said that "links" between terrorists and the RSS and its
sister organisations have been "uncovered" in recent cases.
"The Indian National Congress calls upon the government
to tackle this menace in the strongest possible manner and
investigate links between terrorists and the RSS and its
sister organisations that have been uncovered in some recent
cases, said the resolution proposed by senior leader Pranab
Mukherjee and seconded by Digvijay Singh and others including
The role of religious fundamentalist groups challenging
the security of the nation can no longer be ignored, the party
said in the resolution that was discussed for over five hours
on the opening day of the two-day conclave in Burari on the
outskirts of the city.
Led by Sonia Gandhi, the Congress launched a strident
attack on Sangh Parivar with leaders like Mukherjee referring
to Pune and other blasts where right-wing groups have been
suspected of having played a role.
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh dragged
senior BJP leader L K Advani by saying his rath yatra had sown
the seeds of Hindu-Muslim divide and was the cause for
terrorism in the country.
In her 30-minute address, Sonia Gandhi said "The
Congress party makes no distinction between organisations of
the majority and of the minority communities who indulge in
communalism and related acts of terrorism. They are all
dangerous, they must all be defeated."
Maintaining that Congress has always fought against all
forms of communalism, regardless of their source, Gandhi said,
"communalism is the abuse of religion for narrow political
"It is the abuse of religion and to spread hatred and
bigotry. It is the abuse of religion to polarise our society
and to divide us."
In an apparent attack on saffron forces, she said the
country cannot ignore the pernicious impact of individuals,
institutions and ideologies that distort history and thrive on
spreading religious prejudice and inciting people to violence
using religion as a cover.