In election mode, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday appealed to party workers to ensure a good performance in the coming Assembly elections next month. The ‘aam aadmi’ was the main focus of the party and no one will rest till “sachcha swarajya” (true freedom) has been attained by every citizen of this country, she said.

There was much unfounded media speculation that she would make an announcement regarding the pre-poll alliance between the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which did not happen.

Ms. Gandhi was on a short trip here to inaugurate the refurbished Mumbai Congress office at Azad Maidan. Kripa Shankar Singh, president of the Mumbai Congress Regional Committee, several Union Ministers from Maharashtra, MPs and legislators were present apart from Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and State Industries Minister Narayan Rane.

The spanking new office has been renamed Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan. Exhorting party workers, she said the Congress was not a political party but a people’s movement. Mumbai had deep links with the Congress as the party was born here and the Quit India movement too was launched from here. Mumbai was the country’s pride and to make sure that it became a world class city, it needed greater infrastructure and the government was working on it, she said.

Meanwhile, the alliance with the NCP is expected to be announced soon, party sources said. Manikrao Thakre, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president said the party has a claim on more seats this time. The Congress would push for 173 seats, due to delimitation and other reasons, which left the NCP with 115. In 2004, the Congress and its allies had contested 164 seats and the NCP 124.

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