New Delhi: With only a week to go before the first parliament session of the new government ends, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi exhorted party members not to lose sight of the reason they had been elected as MPs.
In a well calibrated address at the Congress parliamentary meeting, she cajoled and chided while stressing that the time had come "to deliver what we promised".
Gandhi, who backed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s declaration there was no dilution of the national consensus on countering terrorism emanating from Pakistan, reminded the MPs to not forget the decisive mandate that had voted the government back to power.
"You will be soon going back to your constituencies and states. I am sure you will keep in touch with your constituency and attend to the needs and demands of the people there," she said.
"As I said on an earlier occasion, we have been given a decisive mandate and people expect us to fulfil their aspirations. It is for us now to deliver what we have promised.
"We now have a larger number of ministers from our own party. I am speaking from my personal experience which I know you will share, when I say that the expectations and demands from constituents are ever increasing and rightly so," Gandhi said.
"It is no longer a matter of a hand pump here and there, or a culvert or a kutccha (unpaved) road. People demand better infrastructure, all-weather roads, functioning schools and hospitals, skill-training facilities and jobs."
Gandhi asked all ministers to take out time to assist MPs, especially in developmental works in their respective constituencies.
"This makes all the difference especially in states where our workers are waging a struggle in the opposition."
She referred to the flagship National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme that had received an enhanced outlay in the budget, the Right to Education, the Rehabilitation & Resettlement Bills and the proposed National Food Security Act the government plans to translate to law.
Expressing her displeasure on the attendance of MPs in both houses of parliament especially when crucial Bills have been introduced in the month-long session, she said: "Our chief whips have a tough task mobilising all of you on crucial occasions.
"This reflects poorly on us and does little justice to those who have voted us to represent them here. It is both our individual and collective responsibility to see to it that the attendance record improves," said Gandhi.