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Main Opposition party dividing society on communal lines, says Sonia in attack on BJP

New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) : India faces the biggest threat from communal forces and their ideology, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Friday hinting at the Bharatiya Janata Party but not naming it.

Sonia, addressing the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on the second and final day of its session, said there might be “some shortcomings” in meeting the hopes and expectations of the common people and requested all to “be a little soft” towards her party in view of the slew of programmes and policies implemented by the UPA government.

The AICC’s resolution called upon ”like-minded political and social forces to come together at this critical juncture”, echoing the one issued by the party at the Shimla Conclave in 2003 when the party shed its reservations on coalition politics.

Asking the party workers not to lose heart after the recent drubbing in assembly elections, Sonia said that victory and defeat are inescapable in politics and Congress always has the resilience to bounce back by fighting the challenges strongly.

“Congress has faced many difficult times in the past, much tougher than today, but we have never lost heart,” she said, signalling that the party was battle ready for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Describing secularism as the biggest identity of the country, Sonia hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, without taking its name, saying the policy of the main Opposition party is of dividing society on communal lines, imposing uniformity in the name of unity.

A highlight of the proceedings was the clamour for declaring Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the party.

But Sonia said the decision taken by the Congress Working Committee on Thursday was ”final”.

The CWC had decided that Rahul Gandhi would lead the campaign in the Lok Sabha polls, refraining from specifically naming him the PM candidate.

“This meeting of the AICC declares that the Congress Party’s 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign will be led by Rahul Gandhi,” the resolution said.

Turning to the issue of corruption, Sonia said crucial bills, which are powerful instruments in the country’s fight against corruption, are pending in Parliament.

“We will do our utmost to get them through when Parliament reconvenes next month,” she said, appealing to all parties to rise above political considerations and pass these bills.

Noting that the Right to Information Act was the single-most important reason why citizens feel empowered to fight corruption, she said that Congress is responsible for the “historic” Act.