New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi`s recent visit to Niyamgiri in Orissa and his assurance to tribals that their interests would not be sacrificed in pursuit of developing natural resources has come in for praise by party president Sonia Gandhi.
In her `Letter to Congresspersons` in the latest issue of party mouthpiece `Congress Sandesh`, Sonia said, "We need to ensure that sustainable development and employment reaches people whose voice is now being heard."
She said the Congress party`s commitment to welfare of the underprivileged and weaker sections was reinforced after the decision to protect the Niyamgiri region from mining by Rahul, who assured the tribal people that their fundamental interests would not be sacrificed in pursuit of developing natural resources.
Referring to the illegal mining in Karnataka, she said the Congress has taken the lead in exposing corruption and devastation caused by illegal mining in the state.
She said party workers have carried out a successful march to Bellary district and hoped that Congress members in other regions of the country will also play a major role in exposing illegal activities that affect the environment and livelihoods of the villagers.
Gandhi also hailed the success of the Right to Information Act and empowerment of the people through it saying since it was passed, tens of thousands of ordinary citizens have used it effectively.
She, however expressed concern by the news of deaths of activists who have been exposing corruption in government programmes.
"Sadly, those who stand to lose or be indicted have responded with violence and we are all deeply pained by news of death of activists working to expose corruption in government programmes," she said.
The Congress president hoped that people will wield the powerful whistleblowers law to rectify wrongs and expose corruption and urged the party workers to make full use of this "historic" law to expose corruption.