Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday while delivering her opening address at party’s Chintan Shivir at Jaipur called for unity among the Congress workers. “There is increased competition and inroads have been made in our traditional strongholds,” Sonia Gandhi said in her address at the two-day Congress Conclave.
The Congress chief said not being in power was matter of concern for the party, adding there was a need to work in cohesion in those states. She, however, added that being in power was not the Congress’ sole purpose. "Is it not the case that we have floundered many opportunities that people are willing to give us simply because we have been unable to function as a disciplined and united team," Sonia Gandhi asked at the party session held at the Birla Auditorium.
Sonia Gandhi also asked the party leaders to set aside personal ambitions and egos to work cohesively and ensure that the party puts up a better performance, particularly in states where it is out of power. "Why do we forget the simple truth that in the party's victory lies the victory of each and every one of us," she asked and the participants received it with huge applauds. It is time for introspection, she said, and added that there is a need to look at the party’s strengths and weaknesses. Sonia Gandhi said Congress was the only pan-India party with presence in every state, district and block-level.
The Congress President pointed out that the people were now better informed and equipped than ever before and their expectation of the people from the government had also grown. "Our people are fed up with the corruption that they face. We must understand this," Sonia Gandhi said. "We cannot allow growing educated middle classes to be alienated from the political process," she added. The issues behind urban street protests last year, such as corruption and safety of women, which shook the government, must be proactively taken up, said the Congress leader. "We see various protest movements across the country, relating to land, forest, water and livelihood, tribal and gender issues. Our party must proactively take up these causes," said Sonia Gandhi.
She exhorted party leaders to understand the new India, keeping in mind the flash mobs that sprang up in the national capital on the gang-rape issue and caught the government unawares. "We have to recognise the new changing India, an India increasingly peopled by a younger, more aspirational, more impatient, more demanding and a better-educated generation," she said. "Our youth is getting more assertive, it wants its voice to be heard," she said.