Sonia tells Congress MPs to expect the worst from this government, and prepare for the best
Congress president and parliamentary party
chairperson Sonia Gandhi said today that the new government's manner
of electing the Lok Sabha speaker and its conduct during the
confidence motion did not give any credit to the ruling coalition,
and this should be a lesson in the kind of politics expected from
Addressing the general body of the Congress Parliamentary Party
on the last day of the current Lok Sabha session, she said
though the prime minister had spoken about his commitment to
creating an atmosphere of co-operation, at the first opportunity
''the ruling party abandoned its promise in order to cement its own
Recalling that the Congress had pledged constructive co-operation
in the affairs of Parliament and governance, she said: ''Given our
recent experiences, we have to remain vigilant at all times.
Constructive co-operation does not mean any dilution of our
beliefs,'' she said.
Reiterating the party's resolve to be a constructive opposition
which kept the interests of the people and the country foremost in
its concerns, she said the ''valuable lesson'' provided by
the ruling coalition would not cast aside the party's constructive
approach. ''Let us, by example, show the people of India that ours
is a politics of reason and conscience, and not one of narrow self-interest and compromise,'' she said.
She told her party MPs that the party should ensure that the
serious problems facing the country were not ignored or left
unattended by default. ''We must see to it that real issues
concerning the public do not get lost in petty politics. We will
have to utilise every opportunity to raise issues that are crucial to
our beliefs and to the future of our country,'' she said.
Sonia wanted experienced Congress MPs
to use their experience and knowledge in keeping issues of national
concern alive and ''the government on its toes.'' They should work
closely with the party's floor leaders to chart out strategies and
coordinate efforts to make the debates effective and constructive,
She said the Congress has the great responsibility of
safeguarding the people's interests and fighting against any
dilution of the secular and democratic traditions of India. ''We must
communicate our point of view, and project to the people of our
country, the Congress party's policies and our stand on questions
that are vital to them,'' she said.
Sonia told party MPs to be in constant touch with their
constituents and work for them in earnest, with honesty and
dedication. She said Congress members should continue to remain
vigilant on behalf of their constituents and should keep in mind
that serving and representing them was their privilege.
She also expressed happiness that the Congress members have
gained the trust and faith of the people and successfully projected
the policies of the party.
The party's floor leaders in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Sharad
Pawar and Dr Manmohan Singh, chief whips in the Lok Sabha and Rajya
Sabha P J Kurien and Pranab Mukherjee, and CPP office-bearers were
among those present at the meeting held at the Central Hall of
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