New Delhi: The uproar over CWG and Adarsh
Housing Society scams notwithstanding, Congress chief Sonia
Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday remained silent
on the scandals involving party member Suresh Kalmadi and
Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan at the AICC meet here.
Even Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who along with
Defence Minister A K Antony is inquiring into Chavan`s role in
the Adarsh scam, remained mum on the matter while addressing
Both Gandhi and Singh, who addressed the meet, talked
about the Kashmir situation and inclusive growth, while
stressing on the need to fight communalism.
Both Kalmadi and Chavan were present at the meet,
which was held at the Talkatora Stadium.
While Kalmadi is under the scanner in the wake of
allegations of corruption in Commonwealth Games, Chavan`s fate
is hanging in balance after three of his relatives were found
to be members of the controversial housing society.
Even the political resolution did not mention the issue of corruption.
However, senior leader Digvijay Singh, on the sidelines of the meet, said that corruption is indeed a big issue and the party has discussed the issue a number of times and the party need not refer to corruption time and again.
“Appropriate action is being taken in the CWG,” he said, adding that a committee has been formed and it is looking into all aspects of the matter.
On the Mumbai Kargil land scam, Singh rebuffed the suggestions that the party is looking at a change of guard in Maharashtra, while pointing out that Pranab Mukherjee and AK Antony are enquiring into all aspects of the controversial issue.
Clearly, the party appears to have decided to adopt a wait and watch approach on the issue, instead is taking on the opposition on the issue of terror.
A statement circulated to members at the AICC Session, says "Recent revelations through detailed investigations have exposed the true character of the RSS and its sister organisations. The investigations indicate the involvement of its members in terrorist activities."
It said the party would fight "at any cost" communal and terrorist elements, whichever source they originate from that aim at destroying the national fabric.
While Sonia Gandhi did not directly refer to the RSS in her speech, Pranab Mukherjee launched a direct attack on the organisation.
Mukherjee, who placed a party statement on the current
political situation before the AICC, said, "The RSS
organisations...are linked to terrorist activities. These
revelations ought to be brought out."
Ayodhya verdict did not condone Babri demolition
Asserting that the perpetrators of the demolition of Babri Masjid must be brought to justice, Sonia said that the Allahabad High Court`s verdict on the Ayodhya dispute did not condone the demolition.
"It was shameful, criminal act. Perpetrators should be brought to justice," she said.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Sep 30 divided the disputed land into three equal parts -- two going to Hindu parties and one to a Muslim litigant.
She praised the Indian people for ensuring that there was peace and harmony after the verdict was announced.
"The broader message for all is that our fight against communalism and fanaticism of all types has to continue unabated. The abuse of religion to inflame passions will be forcefully resisted by our government," she said.
Give peace a chance: Sonia to Kashmiris
In her opening remarks, Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressed concern on the situation in Kashmir, while urging the people of the state to "give peace a chance".
Supporting the government`s appointment of interlocutors for Kashmir and
Terming the events of the last few months as "painful", Sonia said, “I am sure we are speaking for all of us when we expressed anguish at loss of so many young lives. I share the grief of their families. Their loss is the nation`s loss.”
“A whole generation has seen nothing but violence and conflict. Our sorrows for those who die, does not diminish our gratitude to the security forces,” She added.
"We must give priority to state development. At same time, there has to be meaningful political dialogue with all sections of society and all regions of the state. That is why the government has empowered a group of interlocutors," said Gandhi.
People should have say in nature of development
On the priorities of the UPA government, Sonia said that people should have a say in development, and stressed that natural resources should not be exploited "indiscriminately".
Referring to the Maoist movement in the country, Gandhi said that the nature of "development is the question". "People should have a say," she said, giving her views on the Maoist threat in the country.
Gandhi called for "greater sensitivity to the daily needs of tribals and other communities".
She added that "exploitation of natural resources should not be done indiscriminately".
Gandhi noted that "firm police action" was necessary but also said that there had to be "greater emphasis on social economic issues".