Sonia asks partymen to hit back, not take criticism lying down
New Delhi: With Government under intense Opposition attack on various issues, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today asked partymen to fight back by not allowing opponents "to get away with propagating negative impressions".
"Why should we allow our opponents to get away with propagating negative impressions? You should ask them: "What have you or your party done to change things in our country?" I have no doubt that they have no credible answer," Gandhi said addressing an alumni meet of the NSUI.
In the meeting, which was also attended by party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who was earlier incharge of the organisation as AICC general secretary, the Congress chief lauded him for initiating a process of transformation in the student body.
Asking the student wing members of the party to communicate to the people regarding the achievements since independence, Gandhi said, "it is the Congress Party that has worked hard and devoted itself to improve the lives of our people."
"That is why I want to stress your responsibility in actively educating your fellow students about the tremendous effort that has gone into nation building."
She said that it "pains" her when she hears young people complain about the state of our country even after 66 years of independence.
"It seems that we have not been fully able to communicate the great transformation that has taken place. I am aware that much still needs to be done and that young people have very high expectations. Yet, how can anyone deny the tremendous achievements that our country has made?" Gandhi said.
Listing the "achievements" of the country since independence, she said that democratic institutions have been set up, strengthened and sustained and lakhs of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe people have been empowered through reservation.
"India`s growth and role in the global economy is recognised today throughout the world because of the policies of successive Congress governments and of Congress-led UPA ones," Gandhi said.
She said that many of the poor have each owned a small piece of land thanks to the land reforms carried out during Prime Minister ship of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
"Millions of men and women have found employment thanks to the steel plants, the power plants and the dams built in Nehru`s time. He used to refer to them - `the temples of modern India`," the Congress President recalled.
In his address, Rahul Gandhi lauded the role of NSUI in spreading Congress party?s message to students everywhere and its secular ethos. He said the NSUI is the foundation of the party and if strengthened, the organisation will become more vibrant.
The Congress President said that men and women who have started their career in the NSUI and the Youth Congress, understand better the working of the organisation and through their work have demonstrated their commitment to the party.
"Many of my colleagues present here today bear testimony to this fact. At the same time, I am aware that there are some NSUI and Youth Congress workers who may not have reached important positions. But I can assure them that their hard work has not gone unnoticed," she said.
Gandhi noted that Rahul Gandhi initiated in the NSUI a process of transformation which has enabled it to set up units in thousand of colleges across the country.
"As a result the NSUI is the first student organisation in India to elect its leaders democratically, and to bring in student leaders from all sections of society thus giving the organisation leadership of high quality.
"Finally, I believe that it is important that the NSUI alumni to encourage and nurture its junior members and its fresh entrants by communicating regularly with them and by bringing them forward to take on responsibility.
This will not only strengthen the organisation but will effectively promote the Congress ideology in whichever sphere they work," she said.
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