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Fulfill poll promises: Sonia to CMs
Ajay Kaul and Subhashis Mittra | October 07, 2005 22:49 IST
Reviewing the performance of party-ruled governments in 15 states, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said on Friday that election pledges must be fulfilled and leaders held accountable for implementing them.
She set the tone for the two-day meeting, which was overshadowed by the Supreme Court verdict in Bihar case, asking the partymen to shun factionalism and work on implementation of the United Progressive Alliance's National Common Minimum Programme, which mostly reflects the Congress own manifesto although it is in coalition.
She stressed the importance of economic reforms, directed the party governments in states to take harsh steps to curb communalism and corruption and advocated a humane approach to tackle naxalism.
"It is imperative for all of us to rise above factionalism, to subjugate our personal ambitions in the larger cause of the party, in the service of all people, especially the deprived," Sonia said, kicking off the first such conclave after the UPA came to power at the Centre last year.
Even as the chief ministers made presentations on their performances, seeking to portray a rosy picture, news about Supreme Court order on Bihar Assembly dissolution cast its shadow on the first day's deliberations virtually shifting the focus of the exercise.
Apparently worried over the growing dissidence witnessed in some states, including Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, Sonia asked Congress governments to take the party units along and laying emphasis on 'greater interaction' between them.
She underlined the need for 'much greater involvement' of the party in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of development programmes.
"Elections are won on achievements that can be seen and felt by the people in their day-to-day lives. It is this that we have to collectively strive for," the UPA chairperson said, apparently with an eye on coming elections in five states.
Strongly defending the economic reforms irrespective of the crucial ally Left parties' reservations, Gandhi said the process does not mean 'abdication of the role of government' but meant making government at 'all levels caring, effective and efficient'.
She asserted that reforms in governance meant 'vastly improving the functioning of public institutions, particularly in education and health. All this will require investment and changes in structure and procedures and political leadership is crucial'.