Jaipur: Opening the AICC session here after the two-day ‘Chintan Shivir’, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday touched upon the issue of women safety in India and said that “Delhi gang-rape victim symbol of women who suffer from similar fates.’’
Speaking about the Delhi gang-rape case, she said that it had shocked the nation and that safety is a fundamental right of every woman.
Criticising certain remarks made after the Delhi gang-rape, she said "we cannot tolerate the shameful social mindsets that lead to unspeakable atrocities on women and children. In the last few weeks, some public figures have come out with truly shocking statements reflective of these completely unacceptable attitudes."
Gandhi said the UPA government has drafted laws for women empowerment like providing them protection against sexual harassment at workplace and providing them better representation in panchayats.
To ensure further development for women, she vouched for one third reservation for the fairer sex in the legislative bodies.
She also clearly told partymen that they should not indulge in nepotism and should show unity to face the challenge of elections which are 15 months away.
"I am sure if we make the right efforts with unity, there is no doubt in my mind why we will not get the mandate again," she said.
Gandhi made a strong pitch for electoral reforms and political funding saying people are getting disillusioned with the political process and there is a need to address the issue with sensitivity.
"We have to admit that people are getting disillusioned with the political process. We have to understand what the causes of this disillusionment are and we have to do away with this with sensitivity," Gandhi said striking an introspective note.
Accepting that corruption is the biggest modern Indian problem, she said that Congress has come out as a strong party to combat corruption with an efficient five point agenda. This agenda includes the introduction and passing of the ‘Lokpal Bill’, better allocation of natural resources, transparency in governance, and the Direct Cash Transfer Scheme (DBTS). The DBTS will eliminate corruption by middlemen.
"Let me reiterate that corruption at all levels is a deep-rooted malice and all sections of society are affected by it. As a party, we must lead struggle to combat its effect," she added.
In an apparent reference to the recent decisions including the hike in diesel price, Gandhi said government was forced to take "tough" decisions due to financial crisis which were affecting the people.
She was delighted that a lot of young leaders are participating in the meeting and this will help the party project young leadership.
She added that in last three days the Congress had tried to assess its own self.
Congress has tried to acknowledge its own strength so that it can come out with clear answers that why Congress is the best party.
According to her, Congress is exceptional as it has been following the footsteps of stalwarts like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Bhimrao Ambedkar. Congress has produced leaders like Indira Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi who have had immense contribution towards the development of India.
Moreover under the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, several decisions have been taken to benefit the common man and cited legislations like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Right to the Education Act and the proposed food security and land acquisition bills.
"Nowadays every party makes claims of development. This is a fact that development in itself is an election issue and its entire credit goes to the Congress system of functioning," she said referring to Narendra Modi and his claims of development.
Congress president concluded that unlike any other party congress came out as a party which ensured and will continue efforts in upholding a secular and peaceful nation. It will continuously fight poverty and social inequality.
(With PTI Inputs)
First Published: Sunday, January 20, 2013, 11:46