Aggressive Cong backs FDI, reforms
Sonia, Rahul take battle to Opposition
A combative Congress on Sunday backed recent decisions of the party-led UPA government on economic reforms and launched a counter–offensive on opposition parties, charging them with misleading people and said those levelling graft charges on others were neck-deep in corruption.
Bracing up against the all-round attack on economic decisions and corruption allegation, the Congress, in a show of strength held a massive rally in the national capital where the party’s top leadership—Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi—pitched for foreign direct investment (FDI) and slammed opposition parties and India Against Corruption (IAC) activists.
Addressing the rally at the sprawling Ramlila Maidan in the heart of Delhi, which was attended by over a lakh party workers, Sonia Gandhi strongly supported the economic reforms initiated by the Union government and said: “We need FDI to meet the challenge of huge job requirement. FDI will benefit not only farmers, but also youngsters and common man of this country.”
Praising the Manmohan Singh government’s policies, Sonia stressed that “even at a time of global economic crisis, there has been no impact on the economic progress of our country, compared to other countries.” At the rally, the prime minister outlined the benefits of FDI and said: “It will open new job avenues. Those who are saying that it will hit small traders are wrong and they are misleading people.”
The Congress president, who was in an aggressive mood, lashed out at the Opposition, accusing it of trying to weaken the democracy. In a veiled attack on the BJP, Sonia Gandhi said: “Some political parties have not been able to digest that people of the country had voted the UPA to power in 2004.”
She alleged that “these parties want to weaken the government you had elected. They repeatedly put obstacles in the functioning of Parliament. Why do they do so? The answer is straight forward—these people do not want various public welfare measures to be passed by Parliament.”
Sonia also asserted that the Opposition does not want to discuss important issues concerning the nation and people because that will expose their double standard.
“I want to make it very clear, they are trying to weaken the very foundation of our democracy,” she said.
Speaking on the issue of corruption, she said: “I admit corruption is a cancer. It hits the common man the most, but we have fought this disease before and we will continue to fight this disease with all the strength once again.”
Taking on the Opposition and IAC activists, she said there has been a wave of corruption allegations against the government. However, “we need to understand what is true and what is false.”
She asserted that the Congress brought the “revolutionary” RTI Act to fight corruption and blamed the BJP for opposing the anti-graft Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
In a veiled attack on BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, who is facing accusations of dubious business dealings, the Congress chief said “those who have been giving lectures on corruption, are found to be neck-deep in it.”
Touching upon the issue of inflation, Sonia Gandhi said: “We are aware that the common man is facing the burden of price rise, and we trying to lessen your problems, but sometimes tough decisions are taken because of prevailing global economic conditions”.
The rally was attended by Congress workers, block presidents and district presidents from across the country, besides all MPs, MLAs, chief ministers of party-ruled states, Union ministers and central and state leaders of the party.