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Shun ego and build party, Sonia tells leaders

B S Arun JAIPUR, Jan 18 , 2013 ,DHNS 1:30 IST

Future strategies: Congress brainstorming session kicks off in Jaipur

Jaipur: Congress President Sonia Gandhi addresses the inaugural session of the party's three-day Chintan Shivir (brainstorming camp) in Jaipur on Friday. PTI Photo
Referring to factionalism within the party, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday exhorted the leaders to set aside “personal ambitions and egos” in states where the party was out of power. They should work cohesively instead, she said.

“Did we not squander many opportunities that the people gave us, simply because we were unable to function as a disciplined and united team?,” she questioned. Gandhi was apparently referring to Karnataka. The southern state, where the Congress is riddled with factionalism, is going to the polls in May.

“In states, where we are out of power, we should set aside personal ambitions and egos and work cohesively so that the party triumphs. Why do we forget the simple truth that in the party’s victory lies the victory of each of us? Unity will not come from pious declarations of intent. It has to come from within.”

Karnataka was represented by G Parameshwar, Siddaramaiah, S R Patil, Krishna Byregowda, Vinay Kumar Sorake, Central ministers M Veerappa Moily, K Rahman Khan, K H Muniyappa and AICC office- bearers Oscar Fernandes and B K Hariprasad.

Referring to developmental schemes, Gandhi said though the Centre released huge financial assistance to states, the impact depended significantly on implementation at the local level, which was often inadequate. Speaking of the challenges the party faced, she remarked: “While we continue to be the nation’s pre-eminent party, we must admit that we now face increased competition and inroads have been made into our traditional support bases.

“There are some states where we have been out of office for too long. Though I believe that being in power is not the sole purpose of political activity, this does have an adverse impact on our morale and organizational ability. In states where we are in an alliance, we have to strike a balance between respecting these alliances and ensuring that the party’s rejuvenation is not compromised.”

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