NEW DELHI — The UPA Chairperson and Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday directed the in-charges of Congress ruled five states to “fulfil” party manifesto commitments, not to lose people’s support and stand out as examples of sensitive and responsive governance.
Noting upcoming elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, Sonia said the situation is challenging and “it is only if we keep nothing else other than party interests uppermost in our minds that we will regain our lost position”.
Sonia Gandhi was speaking at the meeting of party general secretaries, state in-charges, state unit chiefs and others in New Delhi on Thursday.
Congress interim chief exhorted Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry where Congress is in power, to stand out as examples of sensitive and responsive governance, accountable and transparent administration.
“We must be seen to be fulfilling our manifesto commitments. If not, we will lose people’s support with obvious consequences,” Sonia said at the meeting.
Beginning her speech, Sonia said: “We are meeting at a time when there is a prolonged economic slump, when job losses are mounting by the day, when the confidence of the investors is getting shakier by the day, when the government appears more and more clueless and insensitive by the day.”
Referring to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recently issued statement on the economy, she said: “We are also meeting at a time when vendetta politics is at its peak and when those who speak out against the ruling establishment are being threatened and intimidated. Each and every institution is being diabolically subverted.”
“The voices of dissent are being silenced. Democracy has never been at greater peril than it is now. As I said a few weeks back, the mandate of 2019 is now being misused and abused in a most dangerous fashion.
Sonia asked party secretaries to have a concrete agitational agenda on issues of pressing concern to the people whether they be economic or social, and that only being aggressive on social media is not enough.
“It is not enough to be active and aggressive on the social media even though that too is needed and we need to do that better. Far more important is to go to the people directly. Our resolve and resilience is under severe test. We cannot afford to let our self-confidence and morale falter.”
She said that this was the time when it would become clear as to who are those steadfastly devoted to the Congress as an ideology (as a vehicle), for strengthening the nation, and those who look to the party only as an opportunity for self-advancement.
Sonia criticised those who left the Congress in recent times, saying they have revealed their “opportunistic character”.
(With inputs from IANS)