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Friday, May 31, 2013

Sonia Gandhi at UPA-II, 4th anniversary function

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My greetings to you all on the fourth anniversary of UPA-2 . This is an appropriate moment to celebrate. It is also an appropriate moment to reflect on what we have sought to do during this past nine years. Our focus has never been in doubt and we have never deviated from our priorities. To strengthen our secular ethos, to address the needs of our people especially the weaker section , whether they are women or minority, schedule caste or schedule tribes or backwards. To pay special attention to farmers and workers and to strive for a growing dynamic economy that is both just and inclusive. You all are familiar with our major initiatives and there have indeed been many, as the Prime Minister has just explained to us. So can anyone question the magnitude of the changes we have been able to bring about. All states across party lines have received unprecedented assistance from our government for development programmes and schemes. Governance is now subject to strict transparency and accountability as a result of the laws that we have put in place. The weaker section of society, the dalits , adivasis, OBCs , minorities, women have been further empowered to a number of new and very effective initiatives. Never before have procurement prices for farmers being increased as they have in the last nine years. And this has led to a record production of food grains. Never before have so many of our children been in schools and colleges aspiring for better future. The nation is closely connected today through the expansion of rural roads and through mobile telephone network which is the second largest in the world with the cheapest call rates. The world is going through a financial crisis yet our government has been able to navigate these turbulent times with confidence. And has shown resilience. As the PM has said we see the making of economic recovery.

Rahul Gandhi at Thiruvanathapuram; addresses rally to mark the conclusion of Kerala Yatra

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Thiruvananthapuram: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi addressed a rally here on Saturday in connection with the culmination of the Kerala Yatra, led by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala. Senior Congress leaders including Defence Minister A K Antony and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also addressed the rally. The Kerala Yatra had begun from Hosangadi near Manjeswaram in Kasaragod on April 18.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rahul Gandhi in Rajasthan says he is sad that BJP is opposing Food Security Bill

Jaipur: Congress Vice-President RahulGandhi, who was on a two-day visit to Rajasthan, said on Thursday that he was very sad that BJP and other opposition parties had created hindrance for political reasons in passing the Food Security Bill in the Parliament.
"We are trying in Parliament to get Food Security Bill passed in the larger interest of people, but I am sad that it could not be done because of BJP and opposition. This is very sad that they created hindrance for political reasons," Rahul Gandhi told the reporters after feedback meetings with Congress workers and leaders in Jaipur.  The Congress Mp,  however, expressed hope that the Bill would be passed in future.
Rahul Gandhi added that the Rajasthan government had done good work and launched several welfare schemes like free medicines and pension, among others.

Rahul Gandhi’s Strong warning in Rajasthan: No ticket for those with criminal records

JAIPUR: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who was on a two-day visit to Rajasthan, has said that the BJP would soon be reduced to the status of a single-state party. On the last day of his tour to Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi said the BJP called itself a national party but the truth was it had governments only in four states: Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The Congress Vice President said the Congress was going to throw the BJP out of power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the upcoming assembly elections. "Goa has a tradition of having different parties in power every six months," Rahul Gandhi said at an extended executive meeting of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee. "That leaves the BJP visible just in Gujarat. So much for a party that thinks it is a national party," he added. The meeting was attended by party men including chief minister Ashok Gehlot, state president Chandrabhan, Union and state ministers, and legislators.
About Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi said “After the free generic medicines and the pension schemes, the scenario has changed and the Congress is on the plus side." Rahul Gandhi added that he had realised the mood of party workers had changed and the Congress was going to retain power after the assembly elections later this year. Rahul warned that the infighting among senior leaders posed the real hurdle for the party. The Congress leader later told the media that people with criminal antecedents would not be fielded in the elections. "I believe people with criminal records and negative approach can be clearly avoided (while deciding the party candidates)," he said.
Rahul Gandhi said party tickets would be distributed early. "We did this in the Karnataka election and succeeded," he said adding "We should succeed here also; there is no special ticket distribution formula for Rajasthan." He said the Congress ran an "aam aadmi ki sarkar" (common man's government). "At the Centre also we have two major issues directly related to the common man, but because of the opposition these are stuck. One of them is the land acquisition bill, while the other is the right to food security bill," said Rahul Gandhi.
He told Congress legislators to begin working in their constituencies. "You still have three-four months before elections," Rahul Gandhi said. "Go to the people, hear their grievances and get them relief." Rahul Gandhi was all praise for the Gehlot government's welfare schemes, especially the free medicines/tests schemes and pensions for the old, handicapped and widows. "Other states are also adopting these schemes," said the young Congress MP.

Sonia Gandhi tells Karnataka CM to address concerns of all sections, particularly Dalits

New Delhi: Congress President and UPAChairperson Sonia Gandhi wants the new Congress government in Karnataka to address concerns of all sections, particularly Dalits and adopt a balanced approach, fiscal prudence and quick delivery on governance.
This was conveyed to newly appointed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress President G Parameshwar when they called on her in New Delhi. Sonia Gandhi told Parameshwar that the party high command was fully aware of the dalit community’s support to the Congress and that all their issues should be addressed by the new Congress government. The Congress President wanted Parameshwar and the other dalit leaders to assuage the community in this regard.
Parameshwar, a senior dalit leader in the Congress party said that the Congress’ next plan was to ensure quality governance and avoid the pitfalls of the previous BJP regime. “Power, irrigation and infrastructure are our priorities. We will not tolerate corruption. The new government’s performance would be very important in this regard,” he said. Parameshwar, who is credited alongwith Siddaramaiah for the Congress’ success in Karnataka, said he had explained all the political situations in Karnataka to Sonia Gandhi. The Congress is looking at bagging at least 20 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the coming general polls. The Bharatiya Janata Party had won 19 seats.
As for Siddaramaiah’s professed brand of social engineering that is loaded in favour of the minorities, other backward classes and dalits, Parameshwar drew attention to the fact that 29 of 44 lingayat candidates had won and 18 of 44 vokkaliga candidates were elected. “We have 47 candidates belonging to two major sections and we will address all concerns,” he said.
Parameshwar said, “The Congress party and chief minister do care for all sections, including dalits. That is the approach of the Congress party. As the chief minister, Siddaramaiah will be caring for all people. He has to deliver. The Congress president is clear on what our approach should be.” On Siddaramaiah’s announcement of Rs. 4,000 crore worth sops before the ministry has been formed, Parameshwar said, “the CM’s announcement is in tune with the promises made by the Congress. Some leaders thought that it could have come after the new cabinet met. But that is no issue.”
State Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, are also scheduled to meet Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rahul Gandhi visits Rajasthan; calls for more youth participation in the party

Bikaner: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi who is on a two-day visit to Rajasthan, interacted with party workers and leaders in Bikaner on Wednesday  and discussed strategy on revitalising the party ahead of state assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
Ticket distribution, fine-tuning the party for upcoming assembly and general elections, and ties between the party and government were on the agenda of several meetings Rahul Gandhi had with Congress workers. The Congress Vice President, who arrived here on Wednesday morning, also took feedback from workers and leaders about the party's affairs and political situation in the state.
Rahul Gandhi had the view that the party at the block-level should be strengthened and leaders empowered. He also suggested a proper coordination between them and the government.”MLAs and MPs should also work in coordination with the party" added the Congress leader.
Rahul Gandhi suggested strong candidates of NSUI and Youth Congress should be given a chance to contest elections and not those who were defeated twice or more. The Congress candidates who lost in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections were also invited for the meetings.
It was a rare initiative taken by one of the party's top leaders to directly interact with the elected leaders from the lowest rung of democratic bodies in rural as well as urban areas- councillors from the municipalities were also invited for the meeting. In turn, the panchayat and municipal leaders expressed their woes before the party vice-president on how the senior leaders in the government sidelined them and ignored their suggestions while taking policy decisions. Rahul Gandhi has given an assurance of strengthening the grassroots workers' voices.
At another session with the elected leaders of Youth Congress and NSUI, the Congress vice-president advocated the idea of the youth being given the chance to turnaround the party's prospects in regions where its senior leaders have consistently failed. For the upcoming assembly elections, Rahul asked chief minister Ashok Gehlot to consider fielding Youth Congress and NSUI leaders from constituencies that the party consecutively lost in the past two elections.
In his first interaction with the elected representatives of panchayatiraj bodies from rural Rajasthan on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi praised these grassroots leaders for their deep understanding of a common man's issues. Rahul Gandhi said these party workers made for better leaders as compared to the "helicopter netas" (high-status leaders) or the "parachute netas" (leaders with no local connect).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sonia Gandhi at Jamia Millia Univ. expresses concern over women safety

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone for a Girls' hostel at Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia University on Tuesday. While speaking on the occassion, the Congress President said that the society and the Government should be more serious to tackle the growing violence against women.

Sonia Gandhi lays foundation stone for Girl’s hostel at Jamia Millia Univ.

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi expressed her concern over violence against women on Tuesday, while laying the foundation stone for a girl’s hostel at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University campus. She also made a strong pitch for a proactive society to create a safe environment for them.
"We have been shocked by the violence that girls and women encounter on the street and even in their homes. Of course, it is not universal, but it is there widespread," said Sonia Gandhi. "It pains me that as a society, we have failed to counter it and create a safe environment where girls and women can live and flourish without being constantly forced to live in the fear of abuse and molestation," added the Congress President. While the government, Parliament and institutions like the police have to discharge their role, society at large also needs to change its mind-set, said Sonia Gandhi.
"We must all become all the more proactive. There can be no better places for this other than our families, schools and universities," she added. Sonia Gandhi also expressed happiness over the decision of the university to name a ground in the university after "charismatic" cricketer late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.  The Congress President said she was delighted to be at the varsity as she does not often get a chance to be amongst students.
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