Congress President Sonia Gandhi addressing a meeting to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Congress said that Congress was very sincere in taking action against corruption but the opposition parties on the contrary were adopting double standards on this issue. She called on the opposition parties to shun duplicity on this very sensitive issue of corruption and replicate strong measures against corruption among their ranks as was done by Congress.
Congress President said that under the able and uprightness leadership of Hon'ble Prime Minister, India was taking rapid strides towards growth and progress. She added that working on core Congress principles; the UPA Government had been successful in not just bringing about transparency in governance but had also undertaken key initiatives to eradicate corruption from administration. She pointed out that action was always initiated in case of serious allegations of corruptions because Congress firmly believed that corruption was the biggest roadblock in progress.
On the choice of venue to celebrate 125th anniversary of Congress, Smt. Sonia Gandhi said that it was apt that the event was being held in the historic and pious city of Allahabad which not only was the confluence of river Ganges and Yamuna, but also symbolized the convergence of Indian ethos – unity in diversity. She further added that the city has always played a major role in shaping Indian polity right since the beginning of India's freedom movement.
Smt. Sonia Gandhi pointed out that the leadership of Maulana Liyaquat Ali and the sacrifice of brave sons of Allahabad in the first war of independence in 1857 can never be forgotten by India. She also pointed out that it was from the very Swaraj Bhawan, the residence of Shri Motilal Nehru, that Mahatma Gandhi and other important leaders strategized the course of India's freedom movement. Shri Jawaharlal Nehru also visited different villages alongwith Baba Ramchandra from this very place to garner support for the farmers movement in the country, she added. Congress President also said that Allahabad has been the abode of daring patriots. She affirmed that four Congress Prime Ministers of India, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, Shri Lal Bahadur Shashtri, Smt. Indira Gandhi and Shri Rajiv Gandhi, all came from this sacred land.
Smt. Sonia Gandhi informed that Allahabad has had a rich history since times immemorial. The region has been a centre of excellence for cultural heritage and knowledge since ancient times, she added. She pointed out that the Allahabad had been a leader in the areas of history, culture and polity. She expressed her happiness that this function to commemorate 125 years of Congress was aptly being convened in this historically rich city.
Congress President stated that this function was not only to celebrate and rejoice the 125th anniversary of Congress but was also an occasion to pledge for enhancing national pride and to work in the service of common man. She said that Congress party had played a singular role in shaping the history of India from the freedom movement to establishment of democratic republic in India. She added that on the basis of paths shown by great Indian leaders and thinkers, the roots of secular and socialist ideology in governance had been championed by Congress.
She said that the UPA government under the leadership of Hon'ble Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has been working tirelessly for ensuring the rights of the common man. This has helped in overall growth of the country, she added. Congress President said that the Central government had brought in many programmes and enacted various laws for holistic development ranging from urban development to improving the basic amenities in the villages. She added to make the development process more effective, special focus had been provided to sectors such as education, health, employment, women empowerment, among others.
Smt. Sonia Gandhi stated that she derived inspiration to undertake all these growth initiatives from her keen desire to see a perceptible improvement in the lives of each and every Indian so that the future remains bright for the next generation. But Congress President also added that she was aware of the fact that mere legislations or starting new schemes would not suffice in the desired objective of inclusive growth. She said that it was important that each and every Indian, including the party workers and the youth, will have to shoulder more burdens in this direction. Only when the schemes and programmes start getting implemented at the grassroots level in favour of the real beneficiary, only then will the change be real, she added. Congress President said that it was imperative for the party workers, volunteers and most importantly the youth to become more aware and vigilant and spread this awareness in all villages and towns across the length and breadth of the country. This was necessary to remove the impediments in implementation of these programmes and to eradicate corruption in delivery of the social benefits, she said. Stating that she was conscious that the task was enormous but it was achievable with organizational unity and strengths, said Congress President.
Smt. Sonia Gandhi said that Congress and the UPA government was aware of the duties towards the nation and has always stood with each and every Indian in times of any crisis. She further stated that politics for Congress was nothing but an opportunity to serve the poor and the under-privileged. It was with this motto that UPA did not discriminate between states in sending funds for developmental projects, including in UP, she added. Congress President said that thousands of crores were sent to UP because she wanted that the people of UP should also prosper and be able to match with the development quotient of rest of the nation.
But the Congress President regretted that despite all efforts of Central government, UP was lagging behind in providing roads, power and safe drinking water to its people. She also pointed out that law and order and rampant corruption remained huge areas of concern for all. Calling on the youth of the state and Congress workers, Smt. Sonia Gandhi said that there was an imperative need to spread awareness against these denials of basic amenities in infrastructure and security. Genuine hardwork was needed to bring about a social revolution in the state, she added.
At the end of her address, Congress President reiterated that Congress is committed to establish a secular and socialist India which cares for all sections of the society. She stated that Congress party has zealously followed these principles for the last 125 years and shall continue to do so in future also.