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|December 18, 1998||
Congress must form govt on its own: Sonia
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday favoured her party's forming a government at the Centre on its own.
''This must be done in a manner consistent with the coherent and cohesive articulation of the national view,'' she said, opening the one-day session of the All India Congress Committee in New Delhi's Talkatora stadium.
''Therefore, we must, as far as possible, forge ahead on our own. If we enter into alliances, they must be on the terms laid down at Pachmarhi,'' she said.
Sonia Gandhi said the country has suffered immensely due to fractious coalition experiments at the Centre, which led to ''total mismanagement'' of the economic situation.
''We are not in favour of such arrangements,'' she added.
Attacks on the minorities, especially in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, are on the increase, she said adding that the Congress would stand by them in this hour of trial.
''Intolerance, sectarian attack on minorities and threat to freedom of expression have become the hallmark of the eight-month-old ruling BJP coalition,'' she said.
The way the Maharashtra government disposed of the Srikrishna Commission report on the Bombay riots, and the way the Centre handled the education ministers conference, showed the manner in which the government wanted to lead the nation, she said.
Sonia Gandhi said the BJP's ''wrong policies'' have led to inflation, unemployment and industrial recession.
''The coalition has also destroyed the safety net carefully envisaged and implemented by the previous Congress governments for the weaker sections of the society,'' she observed.
As soon as Congress governments took over in the states after the recent election, quick action was taken to contain inflation, she added.
Accusing the BJP government of undermining the national consensus evolved over the years on foreign policy, Sonia Gandhi said the need of the hour was to restore it.
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