Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday while delivering her opening address at party’s Chintan Shivir at Jaipur called for unity among the Congress workers.
Sonia Gandhi, who is also the UPA chairperson, also noted that there was a need to strike a balance between allies and government policies. Sonia Gandhi highlighted the fact that the last nine years of UPA rule was a period of tremendous economic growth, social change and technological innovation. As regards the recent tensions between India and Pakistan following the killing of two Indian soldiers on the LoC, Sonia Gandhi said that dialogue with neighbours must be based on accepted principles of civilised behaviour. "Better and closer relations with our immediate neighbours will not only make for regional peace -- they will also have a positive impact on some of our own border states," she said. "However, let us be clear. Our dialogue must be based on accepted principles of civilised behaviour. We will never compromise on our vigil and preparedness to deal with terrorism and threats on our borders."
The Congress president noted that women’s security was on top of the party’s agenda, and added the issue must be discussed at length. "Atrocities on women, both in urban and rural India are a blot on our collective conscience and a matter of shame," Sonia Gandhi said.
The party is also concerned about the poor and backward classes, Sonia said, and added that inclusive growth is not a party ploy but a conviction. She also had a word of advice for partymen - to be austere.
“Lavish weddings will lead to questions on where money came from,” she said, adding brazen display of wealth corrupts people.
Among the leaders present on the dais included Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister AK Antony, Rahul Gandhi, Motilal Vora and Ambika Soni.