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Revival in the north is imperative: Sonia
Onkar Singh and Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | January 23, 2006 13:18 IST
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday called upon party leaders to shun displays of wealth and asked them to work in harmony with party workers at the grass roots level.
Addressing the All India Congress Committee at the party's 82nd plenary session in Hyderabad, she charged the Bharatiya Janata Party of playing divisive politics in the social and economic sectors.
"Across the country, people came out to express their resentment on the divisive politics of the BJP that had damaged social harmony. They came out to express their opposition to the elitist economic policies of the BJP, that had neglected the weaker sections of the society," she said.
Cited the 2004 Lok Sabha election results, she said, "The verdict showed that our people will reject divisiveness of any kind, social or economics. The verdict showed that our people will reject any kind of arrogance and insensitivity on the part of those who are in power.
"A party that underestimates its opponents and exaggerates its own strengths will be humbled by the people."
Sonia also launched a scathing attack on Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh, who used the telephone tapping case to launch a personal attack on her, and said that the politics of money power and politics of muscle power will have to be put to an end.
"We will have to take stiff action against those who seek to advance their personal ends by using politics as a weapon," she said. This is the first time that Sonia had spoken on the subject without naming the Samajwadi party leader.
On gaining a foothold in states where the Congress is not in power, she said, "Our revival in the north is imperative. But there is no magic wand to achieve this. This can happen only with our collective efforts. It will be a long and difficult struggle.
"I know that in these states, I will have to focus my attention but you'll also have to accept individual responsibility. Party leaders will have to take the ground realities into consideration before taking the decisions. The leaders have to project and develop the party in such a manner that the benefits of these programmes and actions accrue to the party, not to a few individuals alone," she added.