Sonia Gandhi blows poll bugle, asks partymen to attack Oppn

Sonia told partymen there was no alternative to unity & taking on the Opposition on corruption issue.

New Delhi: With the poll disaster in Bihar
apparently weighing heavily on her mind, Congress President
Sonia Gandhi on Monday told partymen that there was no alternative
to unity, hard work and discipline ahead of the Assembly
elections in five states in the new year.

"There is simply no alternative to unity, hard work and
discipline. There is no place for complacency and taking
anything for granted and hoping that from somewhere above,
things will happen," Gandhi said concluding the two-day
Congress Plenary marking completion of 125 years of the party.

During the plenary, Gandhi has steered clear of the issue
of alliances in the coming polls, which are due in West
Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puduchery.

It, however, saw some local leaders speaking against
alliance with Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and DMK in TN.

Gandhi said the party will soon begin preparations to
hold a `Chintan Shivir` (brainstorming session) on the lines
of the ones held in Pachmarhai and Shimla.

"We will soon begin the preparations for our Chintan
Shivir", Gandhi said.

She had yesterday said that plans are afoot to hold such
a brainstorming session in next few months which will give the
party "an opportunity to refresh our perspectives on crucial
national issues and also review the functioning of our

"It will be an occasion to hear the voices of our
colleagues, particularly the younger ones, to bring new energy
to our thinking," she had said.

Gandhi`s announcement came at a time when the party is
faced with a series of corruption allegations against the
government and a crushing defeat in Bihar assembly polls.

She also announced a series of measures to galavanise
the party in states both ruled by the Congress as well as
those by the opposition parties.

Noting that complaints have been received about lack of
coordination between the party and the government in many
states, Gandhi said, "In states, where we are in power, the
AICC will set up a coordination committee to ensure regular
and close interaction between the government and the party

She said similar committees will also be established in
Opposition-ruled states to bring about greater cohesion
between the CLP and the party organisation.

’Expose BJP’

Asserting that Congress will
take corruption head on, Sonia said it was the duty of Congress workers to
counter all the accusations levelled by the opposition,
particularly the BJP, calling them as "blatantly baseless and
completely unfounded".

"It is absolutely essential that we confront our
political opponents aggressively," she said, adding that the
Congress-led UPA government has accomplished a "great deal" in
the last six and a half years and "we have every reason to be
proud of our record".

"This is a record that stands out distinctively when
compared to what the NDA did during its time. Nothing can
detract from our solid accomplishments. It is our duty to
propagate them among the people", the Congress President said
in the presence of the Prime Minister.

She asked the party activists to launch nationwide
Jan Jagran Abhiyan to "expose the BJP for its double-speak
on the issue of corruption. There should be at least one
public meeting in every assembly constituency".

Observing that several central flagship programmes
had been co-opted by non-Congress governments ruling in
different states under different names, Gandhi said these
state governments were "taking credit from our programmes",
which had been promised in "our manifesto".

Directing party workers to expose this, she asked PCC
chiefs to appoint monitoring committees to get systematic
feedback on their implementation and submit assessment report
every quarter to the AICC.