Giving a clear message to “group managers” waiting to convert the coming Lok Sabha elections into a flashpoint of group war, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday urged party workers to fight the general elections together.
“For me, there is no this group or that group. We are all one group and we will fight the elections as one group, the Congress party group. That way we will win the elections,” she said in the presence of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, at Congress’ convention here.
The convention assumed greater significance as it was the first major event organised by the party’s state unit after V M Sudheeran took over as its chief. Also, it was the launchpad for party’s poll campaign in state.
Sonia said the party would repeat its 2009 victory in the state and had chances of bettering its tally. “The Congress is proud to face the people as the UPA Government has implemented various populist programmes for the nation. The last ten years were of profound transformation,” she said.
Without naming the CPM, she said the Opposition party was “killing all who are against them”, hinting at the T P Chandrasekharan murder. “What have they done in Kerala and Bengal? They have been instigating violence and creating obstacles to development,” she said. And Sudheeran said in the presidential address: “Groups should not have excessive influence. We should move beyond the groups. We have only one group, the Indian National Congress.”
He said many, who had left the party or become defunct owing to the excessive group war have expressed their desire to return to the party. “Anybody can return to the party and all are welcome. There is enough space for everybody as the party is ready to provide recognition to the deserving,” he said amid thunderous applause from delegates.
Chandy, who is apparently peeved at the “manner in which the AICC appointed the KPCC president’’, made an effort to clarify his conspicuous absence from some programmes in the last few days.
“Nowadays it is not my presence but my absence making headlines. It’s not news if I attend a function, but it’s if don’t,” he said.
She Comes, Smiles and Swoops on Groups
Sonia said the Congress would repeat its 2009 victory in the state and had chances of bettering its tally.
The Congress president said ‘Nirbhaya Keralam Surakshitha Keralam’ is a model for other states. The decision of the state government to start six all-women police station should also be appreciated.
Without naming the CPM, she said the Opposition party was “killing all who are against them”, hinting at the T P Chandrasekharan murder. “What have they done in Kerala and Bengal? They have been instigating violence and creating obstacles to development,” she said.
The Congress president also said that efforts to pass Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha will continue.