AICC meet: As it happened

Aggressive Rahul Gandhi addresses AICC meet and lists out Congress` achievements.

By Ajith Vijay Kumar | Updated: Jan 18, 2014, 00:06 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar

4:45 pm: No matter how hard the struggle, India teaches us to fight on with compassion. There is a tough battle ahead of us and we will go into this battle as warriors with our head held high. We will go into the battle by knowing exactly who we are and what we stand for, we will not rest and we will not loose courage, and we will not stop till the battle is won.

4:43 pm: I am a soldier of the party and will do whatever the party asks me to do - Rahul

4:41 pm: We will win the election; the PM of Congress party will be chosen by MPs as mandated by the Constitution of the country - Rahul

4:40 pm: Those who have tried to end the idea called Congress has been decimated – Rahul

4:37 pm: The opposition says make India rid of Congress, they don’t read history books. What is Congress party? Congress party is a vision and it is in our hearts, it is the vision of brotherhood, love and honour - Rahul

4:36 pm The people of of Opposition is not like us. Congress is the party of honest people like Gandhiji. The marketing of opposition is very good, they can sell combs to bald people, now we have new type of people they have started to give haircuts to bald people – Rahul

4:35 pm: Mr Prime Minister, we can`t do with nine cylinders (of LPG), we need 12 cylinders, the women of the country need 12 cylinders - Rahul

4:31 pm: I have discussed ways to bring down inflation, we are delinking vegetables from APMC

4:31 pm: What is that we do need to do in the next three years, we have six important bills listed in Parliament, we will have to put our entire might to get them passed in Parliament - Rahul

4:30 pm: We will ensure that 50 percent of Congress CMs would be women, the Congress party will fight for the honour of women

4:29 pm: We will do that by ensuring education to the children of the working class, we will also put a concrete roof over their heads, we will help them in health - Rahul

4:27 pm: We have pulled 14 crore people out of poverty. There are 70 crore people in the middle class who go back to poverty even if anyone falls ill in their family, the Congress will fight for these people and we will put you in middle class in the next five years - Rahul

4:26 pm: In 15 constituencies in Lok Sabha polls, we will choose candidate based on the opinion of the party workers, if this becomes successful then we will implement it further – Rahul

4:25 pm: Earlier manifesto was made behind closed doors, now we are making our manifesto after seeking the views of everyone - Rahul

4:24 pm: In the party of 21st century, the voice of the party worker will be heard.

4:23 pm: Only those who have Congress` ideology in their blood will contest on party ticket - Rahul

4:20 pm: People need honest government, we got Lokpal. Everyone made a tamasha but who passed it? Congress! - Rahul Gandhi

4:17 pm: Congress does not respond by subverting institutions, turning people against one another, by lighting fires of communal hatred. We respond by peaceful and constitutional means - Rahul

4:15 pm: This a turning point in our nation`s history, no one is willing to compromise any more and frankly they deserve it, either we raise up to their aspirations or we have no business to claim that we represent them – Rahul

4:14 pm: Voice of the Congress worker is the most important, common people should be able to enter the political system, we need to change that - Rahul

4:12 pm: Democracy is not about power in some hands - Rahul

4:11 pm: The answer to every single question this country has is to push this democratisation further, that is where the answer lies - Rahul

4:10 pm: Congress has taken many steps to give power to people - Rahul

4:09 pm: And the third pillar is Panchayati Raj, it was Rajivji`s dream; I would also like to thank Mani Shankar (Aiyer) ji - Rahul

4:08 pm: Aadhar is the largest anti-corruption platform that anybody has build in the world

4:08: Nobody pressurised to do the RTI, the Congress got up and said that the country needs RTI, every citizen has the right to know what is happening in this country – Rahul

4:07 pm: The single biggest attack on the system is RTI Act, information is power, through RTI we gave power to the people of the country - Rahul

4:04 pm: For the last 10 years we had the privilege of Manmohan Singh ji`s leadership, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for the job he has done for this country - Rahul

4:03 pm: It is always an honour to speak to soldiers of this great party - Rahul

4:03 pm: Rahul Gandhi begins speech

12:59 pm: I have no doubt that under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi we will get full success in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections- PM

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi to lead Lok Sabha campaign: AICC resolution

12:58 pm: I express my gratitude towards Sonia Gandhi and the commitment shown by the Congress president has benefited the government tremendously - PM

12:57 pm: Poverty declined under UPA rule, there was increase in agricultural productivity - PM

Also Read: UPA has not got due credit: PM

12:56 pm: We have committed mistakes, but we have always tried to learn from them - PM

12:55 pm: We are accused of not doing anything to control corruption,but I would the government has worked towards bringing transparency like no one ever did - PM

12:54 pm: Any victory in 2014 will be Rahul Gandhi`s victory - PM

12:53 pm: If we work hard and successfully tell the people of this nation about our work, we will win the 2014 General Elections - PM

12:52 pm: There have been tremendous increase in infrastructure - PM

12:51 pm: Many Higher Education Institutes have been established in the country- 9 IITs, 7 IIMs and 6 AIIMS - PM

12:50 pm: Our government brought in laws to tackle crime against women. Sexual Harassment at work place act is one of them - PM

12:49 pm: Due to global meltdown, country`s economy was affected. India is not the only country which witnessed decline in its economy, even developed countries were affected - PM

12:48 pm: When opposition and Congress` work will be compared it will be c;lear who has done well - PM

12:47 pm: For seven years we maintained a growth rate of 8 percent - PM

12:46 pm: Though we lost in recently held Assembly elections but there is no reason to get disheartened - PM

12:45 pm: India has progressed rapidly in last 10 years - PM

12:05 pm I feel in atleast 272 Parliament seats, Congress must field candidates who are below the age of 35 years - Chidambaram

Also Read: Half of Congress candidates must be below 35: Chidambaram

12:02 pm Congress not a party which fades when not in power. Every milestone, every legislation in India, was done, made or passed when we (Congress) were standing guard - Chidambaram

12 pm I challenge any party to point out any other time when we have achieved this level of growth - Chidambaram

11:55 am Everyone is equal for Congress

11:53 am Our idea of India is that everyone is equal; growth leads to inclusive development; everyone gets social justice: Chidambaram

11:53 amGrowth has always been `inclusive` in UPA regime, we believe in inclusive development - Chidambaram

11:50 am India achieved highest ever growth rate in the last ten years under UPA - Chidambaram

11:49 am P Chidambaram begins speech

11:32 am I will explain what I have in mind – Rahul Gandhi

11:30 am Congress workers shout slogans hailing Rahul, forcing him to intervene and promise to spell out his vision when he will address the gathering at 3.30 pm

11:20 am We have always fought communal forces, secular form is the identity of our country - Sonia

11:15 am We have taken steps and initiated various laws to promote education and protect women - Sonia

Also Read: Lok Sabha poll a battle for India: Sonia Gandhi

11:10 am All Congress ruled states are committed to powerful Lokayukta by the end of February

11:07 am Growth is essential, and it should be sustained - Sonia

11:05 am If the growing aspirations of people are not met, the fabric of society would be torn

11 am The divisive forces are stretching the social fabric to a breaking point

10:58 am 2014 battle will be a battle for India, a battle for preserving secular tradition - Sonia

10:56 am MGNREGA has raised rural wages, procurement prices for rice and wheat have more than doubled, new prosperity for our kisaans - Sonia

10:56 am This election (Lok Sabha) is for an India which our founding fathers visualized - Sonia

10:56 am We are ready and prepared for the battle ahead - Sonia

10:55 am The decision taken by CWC yesterday is final (Rahul Gandhi will be poll panel head) - Sonia Gandhi

10:50 am Sonia Gandhi begins her speech

A crucial meet of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) began here on Friday to finalise party`s strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The crucial meeting gains further significance as it comes a day after party president Sonia Gandhi categorically rejected the demand from a section within the party that Rahul Gandhi be named the prime ministerial candidate but will be party`s face and lead the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.

The party president took the decision against naming Rahul despite an overwhelming demand for anointing him as PM candidate ahead of the 2014 general elections.

Addressing those who voiced the clamour for declaration of Rahul Gandhi as Congress PM candidate at the Congress Working Committee meet, yesterday, Sonia Gandhi said there is no tradition in the party to declare a PM candidate before polls.

The AICC is now expected to pass a resolution which will speak about the role of Rahul Gandhi ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

On his part, Rahul had expressed his willingness to take on any responsibility that the party entrusts him with. “I am a soldier of Congress. I will obey whatever order is given to me. I will do whatever Congress wants me to do... Decisions are taken in our party by senior leaders,” he had said recently.

Although it would be premature to write off the grand old party, the Congress appears to have decided to play it safe and not expose Rahul to criticism if party fails to win back power.

Also, the Congress appears to be not enthused about the about the idea to pit Rahul directly against BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Clearly, the Congress is at one of the most important crossroads in its history and would want the generational shift from Sonia to Rahul to be to effectuated smoothly, hence has gone for a balancing act while also making it amply clear that he would occupy the position if the party forms the government after the Lok Sabha polls to be held in April-May.

Rahul Gandhi already heads the party`s election coordination committee for Lok Sabha polls.