sonia tells congress meet party will win 2014 ls polls
Jaipur, Jan 20 : Congress president Sonia Gandhi Sunday said there was "no reason" the party should not get public mandate again if it works in the right way.
"There is only 15 months left for the (2014) elections. I am confident, if we work in the right way and are united, there is no reason we should not get public mandate again," Sonia Gandhi said addressing the All India Congress Committee meet soon after the two-day Chintan Shivir (inrospective camp) was over.
She said discipline and unity was needed, and also added that party members should publicise the good work done by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.
"Several states are also going to polls. I think our biggest challenge is to be disciplined and united and present ourselves to people. The victory of the party is the victory of all of us," Sonia Gandhi said.
"We must tell the people of our country about our achievements. The government gives information from its side, but the party organisation should also publicise it," she added.
On the issue of inflation and fuel price hike, Sonia Gandhi said the central government was forced to take some "harsh steps" because of the global economic slowdown.
"When the whole world was dealing with financial crisis, India was not that badly effected. But today even India is effected with global economic situation. That has forced our government to take some harsh steps," Sonia Gandhi said on the last day of the Congress meet here.
"I know that (economic slowdown) has caused some problem to the common people, but our government should explain to the people the steps they have taken to deal with inflation," she said.
Her statement comes days after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government announced a partial deregulation in diesel prices, which has been met huge opposition from political parties and key allies.
The government had earlier been criticised on its decisions of approving foreign direct investment in retail, routine hike in petrol prices, and a cap on subsidised cooking gas.
Calling corruption a "deep rooted malice", the party chief said the party must lead the 'struggle' to counter its effect.
"Let me reiterate corruption at all levels is a deep rooted malice and all sections of society are effected by it. As a party we must lead struggle to combat its effect," Sonia Gandhi said.
The Congress president said corruption was the main concern of the nation when the party held its session at Burari in July 2011.
Sonia Gandhi said that a five-point agenda to deal with corruption was given and the party has moved on with it.
The key among the steps taken was introducing Lokpal bill in the parliament and introducing more transparency in process of allocating natural resources, said the Congress president.
"We have introduced path breaking legislation for grievance redressal, whistle blowers, and historic 'apka paisa apke hath' (your money in your hands, the direct cash transfer scheme) initiative," she said.
Congress has been under severe attack from opposition and civil society groups for several major corruption cases that surfaced during the tenure of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by the party.