Shun factionalism, prepare for polls: Sonia to party men
New Delhi, May 9: To rejuvenate the party infrastructure after having suffered electoral setbacks recently, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has asked the party men to close their ranks and shun “all manner of factional behavior”.
Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) after the recent electoral setbacks in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Goa, Sonia said that unity and discipline was the key to success in future electoral battles. "We must shed all manner of factional behaviour, and fight as one disciplined team at all levels. That will be the single-most important factor to decide whether we win or lose. People look to us--but we need to show them our commitment and our unity if we are to convert this sentiment into electoral victories," she added.
Taking an overview of the party’s recent debacle in UP where the election campaign was spearheaded by AICC General Secretary, Rahul Gandhi, she said that Congress had increased its vote share "quite considerably". The Congress got a vote share of 11.6 per cent and won 28 seats in the March elections this year compared to the 8.6 per cent vote share and 22 seats in the 2007 polls.
With a series of state elections approaching, Gandhi said the party men "must draw lessons of the previous polls". While Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are scheduled to have Assembly elections this year end, polls are due in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan next year.
Hinting that the Congress would aggressively take on its arch-rival BJP over the latter’s anti-corruption campaign against the UPA Government, she said, without naming the party ruling in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, that the Congress would launch a counter offensive on these issues in the wake of CAG and Lokayukta reports.
Gandhi's remarks on unity and discipline in the party assumes significance as they have come ahead of a reshuffle of the AICC and several states units to refurbish them ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha poll battle.
Commenting on the poll results in the five states including Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi conceded there is "much work to be done" in UP and several other states and that Congress did not perform as well as expected.
"In Uttar Pradesh, even though we did not perform as well as we had hoped to, we increased our vote share quite considerably and were seen as a serious player for the first time in 22 years. Of course there is much work to be done there as in other states," she said.
She sought to dismiss the critics of NCTC by stating that Congress and the government were "fully committed" to strengthening federalism. "But there are Centre-state issues of major national importance-such as fighting terrorism or dealing with Left-wing extremism-where the Centre cannot shirk its responsibility," she said.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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