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Sonia Gandhi |
New Delhi, Aug. 19: Keen to revive her party in poll-bound Bihar, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today asked her partymen to highlight the role of central initiatives in bringing about positive changes in the state.
She has often felt that the party machinery in the states have not been able to politically exploit the central government’s massive social sector investments.
The Congress is not accustomed to intense political or social struggles. It heavily depends on government initiatives and Sonia has laid extraordinary emphasis on the welfare programmes for political mobilisation throughout the country, particularly in states where the organisational structure was weak.
Bihar is one such state where the party has been in a miserable shape for almost two decades. Even this election would be fought on the strength of the Gandhi family’s charisma and the goodwill of the Manmohan Singh government.
Addressing the Congress party in Parliament here today, Sonia said: “Never before has Bihar received so much financial assistance from the Centre for development and welfare programmes. This is the essential message that we need to communicate to the people of Bihar.”
She said: “In many states, including Bihar, schemes and programmes funded by the central government are appropriated by the state governments, which then claim credit that justifiably should go to the Centre.”
Sonia was so upset with the states brazenly trying to present the revolutionary National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) as their programme that she called a conference of all the district and block presidents of the Congress in Delhi a few years ago.
In the context of Bihar, Sonia said: “We as party workers must engage ourselves in making people aware of these false claims and projecting the tangible accomplishments of our government.”
The Congress leadership is convinced that the failure of the dominant former ally RJD in projecting the Centre’s role in the development of Bihar was a major factor in the victory of the BJP-JD(U) combine in the state in the 2005 elections. Sonia also told the leaders to convey to the Bihar voters that the Congress was the only party with an all-inclusive agenda.