Party ready to fight and win, says Cong chief

Tackling graft, curbing inflation priority : Sonia

Putting up a brave front in the wake of recent electoral reverses, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday talked of “big challenges” ahead and said the party was determined to fight and win.

The message to the party cadre, nursing wounds of debacle, was loud and clear – end factionalism and put up a united face ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, where a resurgent BJP led by prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and the new Aam Aadmi Party awaits them.

“There are big challenges before us but we are united and determined to fight and win,” Gandhi told reporters at AICC headquarters after hoisting the party flag to mark the 128th anniversary of the formation of the Congress.

Smarting under the party’s rout in elections in four states, she said tackling corruption and curbing inflation would be top priorities for the party and the UPA government at the Centre.

Asked about allegations of corruption against Congress leaders, Gandhi said the party and its leaders were open to scrutiny.

“Look at us by all means and point out our mistakes but look at others also,” she said promising a resolution of the controversy over the Maharashtra government’s rejection of the findings of a judicial panel in the Adarsh Housing Society scam.

“I would ask the media to please look at other states led by other parties also, something about corruption...among their (other parties’) own friends and particularly among some of their ministers,” she said in an apparent reference to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The Congress has been accusing Modi of shielding ministers convicted by courts for committing irregularities in discharge of their official duties.

Stressing that the party was serious in addressing the issues of corruption and inflation, Gandhi said Friday’s meeting of chief ministers of Congress-ruled states focused on actions expected from the state government to “fight corruption and inflation.”

To a specific question on Adarsh report, Gandhi said a decision in this regard had been taken on Friday. “I think it is going to be resolved soon.”

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