Unleashing a scathing attack on the BJP, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said the upcoming Lok Sabha polls are vital to safeguard national ideals of ‘unity and secularism’, which are facing a threat.
“2014 is the most important election because it is about what kind of India you want. The idea of India is under threat by those who don’t just seek to rule, but to change India’s very heart and soul,” she said addressing a convention of Congress workers from across the state.
The convention marked the launch of the party’s poll campaign in the state. “The 2014 elections is not just about records or achievements, but also to defend traditional values taught by the freedom fighters. This is more important than any other election, as it is about the country’s future. Our principal opposition argues that after 10 years of UPA rule, it is time to change. I want to ask, a change to what? Do the people of India really want to give up long-cherished values for lies and untested promises,” she said.
“The choice is between India of all or India of some serving the interest of a few. We want unity, they want uniformity. Our idea joins India together, theirs divide. You have a choice to build India of the 21st century or an India confined to the prisons of an ideology. The choice before us is very clear -- whether you want to support united India or that divided by hatred,” she said.
“The Congress party stands for development and democracy and will fight for it till the end ,” she said.
According to her, in Kerala, the choice will be between a party that stands for the 21st century and one which possess an irrelevant ideology.
Without naming, she rebuked the CPM, as a party that does not believe in non-violence. This, she said, was in contrast to the Congress, which had always stood for consensus and dialogue without deviating from its basic principle of non-violence.
Tearing into the ideology and approach of the CPM, Sonia said though the Left claimed that they stood for the people, they had opposed every single scheme the UPA proposed without doing anything for the poor themselves. “What do you want? A party which stands for development? or a party sticking to ideology that became irrelevant,”she asked.
“When we believe in settling differences through discussions, they settle differences through violence, brutal acts and murders.
They believe in outdated ideals and dogmas of the past. They had been shouting against corruption from rooftops. But had they taken any action against their corrupt leaders in states ruled by them?” Sonia asked.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi and Union Minister of State for Food and Public Distribution K V Thomas spoke in the convention presided over by the new KPCC president V M Sudheeran. The convention was attended by functionaries from the booth level upwards.