Everyone should look within: Sonia to Team Anna
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday attacked Team Anna for raising "hue and cry" on Lokpal issue issue despite a pledge by her government to bring an effective and strong Bill and said corruption cannot be eradicated by merely making speeches or by pointing a finger at others.
"Everyone needs to look within.... You cannot eradicate corruption like this, that one thinks corruption by us is a holy affair while that by others amounts to corruption. This is what is happening these days," said the Congress chief in an obvious reference to Team Anna, some of whose members are facing allegations of financial misconduct.
Gandhi was to address a public meet in poll-bound Uttarakhand on Wednesday but could not make it due to her ill health following which her speech was read out to the gathering.
"All know that the prime minister and our party have said again and again that we are in favour of an effective and strong Lokpal Bill. The Bill will be presented in Parliament and we will implement it. Then why this hue and cry?" she said.
"There is a lot of talk about corruption these days. No doubt corruption is prevalent in society in some form of the other. An atmosphere needs to be created against it.
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Image: Congress President Sonia Gandhi
'We remained untouched during recession'
Corruption will not go by merely making speeches, by pointing a finger at others. Everyone needs to look within," Gandhi said.
Gandhi also expressed concern over rising prices, which she felt, was hitting the common man hard and said the government must take steps that provided relief to the common man.
This, she said, "Can happen only with the support of both the Central and State governments."
Gandhi said, "I admit that the government also has a lot of difficulties and this problem is there in almost all the countries. But when the whole world was passing through economic recession, we remained untouched."
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Image: Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal
'People should leave aside their vested interests'
The Congress president also felt that the hill state has a lot of potential for tourism, agriculture and floriculture and asked the state and central governments to work jointly and initiate necessary steps in this direction.
Attempting to woo women in poll-bound Uttarakhand, Gandhi said she was impressed by the women of the hill state.
"You may call it discrimination, but I feel the social and economic system of the state has endured due to the hard work and dedication of the women in the state," she said.
She also reminded the people that her government has initiated many measures to make them financially independent. She said to strengthen their voice on the ground, the government had granted 50 per cent reservation for women in panchayati raj institutions also.
Gandhi also talked about the recent procurement policy for micro, small and medium enterprises, whereby it was made mandatory for public enterprises, central ministries and departments to have 20 per cent reservation for dalits and tribals, to help provide financial independence and social equity to them.
She concluded her speech saying "people should do their own politics, but by leaving aside their vested interests. They should first worry about you, about this beautiful state and our great nation and do something for which the coming generations should feel proud of you."
She also expressed grief over the loss of lives in Tuesday's stampede at Haridwar.
Image: Relatives mourning the death of a family member at the stampede in Haridwar