Tiruchirapalli: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said the party should have a distinctive identity at the grassroot level to make it the party of the future in Tamil Nadu.
Addressing a massive rally to mark the 125th anniversary of founding of the party, she said Congress is in alliance (with DMK). “We respect the alliance but what is most important is that we rebuild from the grassroots“.
She said “we must have a distinctive identity. We must become the party of the future in Tamil Nadu“.
Ms. Sonia said the UPA government had fulfilled a number of election promises in the past six and half years and was determined to implement the rest.
Most schemes like Indira Gandhi Awas Yojana, Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee programme, Prime Minister’s Gram Seva Programme and Midday Meals Programme were those of the UPA, implemented through state governments, she said.
She asked partymen and women to go to villages to tell people that these are the UPA government’s programmes.
Ms. Sonia Gandhi said the Congress party, during its 125 years of existence, was the party of relevance.
“During this momentous year and especially since Independence, many political parties have come and gone. But which is the party who has throughout remained relevant, who has spread in every stage of history? That party is Congress party. We are proud of our party and being members of the party”, she said.
She said Congress had had a very long journey and had many successes and suffered a few setbacks in recent years when it lost its leaders.
After being in the opposition for eight years, Congress became a preferred party to form a government at the Centre in 2004, she said.
Ms. Gandhi said many states had contributed to the success of Congress but Tamil Nadu was the state which gave the largest number of seats for its coalition, she said.
Tamil Nadu returned UPA nominees from all 39 Lok Sabha seats in the state then.
In the last six and half years, the UPA government had worked to strengthen and increase the economic growth to provide employment, she said.
Striking a personal note, Ms. Sonia Gandhi said she remembered the reception given to her when she had visited Tiruchirapalli along with her husband Rajiv Gandhi in 1988.
She said the rally was the ‘beginning of a new history for the Congress party in Tamil Nadu.”