Announces programme to inform people of UPA's achievements and expose BJP doublespeak

Congress president Sonia Gandhi declared war on the BJP as the 83{+r}{+d} plenary session of the party wound down here on Monday, while simultaneously demanding not just unity, discipline and hard work from her colleagues but accountability as well. “It is absolutely essential now that we confront our political opponents aggressively,” she said.

It was the duty of party activists to both publicise the United Progressive Alliance government's “record of solid accomplishments” and effectively counter the “blatantly baseless and completely unfounded accusations being levelled by the Opposition, particularly the BJP,” Ms. Gandhi said in her closing remarks. To this end, she announced a countrywide Jan Jagran Abhiyan to “inform the people of the achievements of the Congress-led UPA government and expose the BJP doublespeak,” with at least one public meeting in every Assembly constituency, clearly intended to counter the BJP's proposed anti-corruption rallies frontally.

Ms. Gandhi reiterated the promise she had made on Sunday — that the Congress would take corruption head on and “demonstrate through actions, not words,” that the party meant what it said.

Ms. Gandhi asked all Pradesh Congress Committees to appoint committees to monitor implementation of the government's flagship schemes, roping in their district and block level units to “give our workers a sense of involvement and participation.” The PCC Monitoring Committees would be expected to submit an assessment report every quarter, and every PCC would have to ensure that at least one session of its delegates was held every year.

Simultaneously, both in the States ruled by the Congress and the Opposition, the party would set up coordination committees to “ensure regular and close interaction” between the party and the government or the Congress Legislature Party, as the case may be. There was no room for complacency in the election-bound States, she pointed out.

Paying a special tribute to party activists who worked tirelessly without reward or recognition, she urged those who had been given positions in the Congress to learn from their example. These selfless workers, she said, had a special place in her heart.

Earlier, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, too, while speaking on the economic resolution, called for greater accountability in the functioning of the government as well as within the party. Mr. Chidambaram, who prepares a monthly report on the activities of his Ministry, suggested that other Ministries be similarly made accountable to the Prime Minister and the government, in turn, could give six-monthly progress reports to the party.

He told the BJP that for the next decade “the Congress or a government led by it will remain in power in Delhi.” “I want to tell the BJP — aapka number nahin aayega [your turn will not come] — for the next decade or even after that,” he said, stressing that the party had become “envious of the Congress” because of its “electability and re-electability” and its record of delivering growth.

Comparing performance, he pointed out that the highest growth rate the BJP-led NDA government had achieved was 6.4 per cent, while “the UPA-I government's lowest GDP growth rate was 6.7 per cent” and that, too, in a year which saw the global economic meltdown.

Keywords: Congress plenaryJPCBJP

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