Sonia Gandhi salutes
at the 125th foundation day celebrations of the Congress party
in New Delhi
Congress has always
stood for secular values: Sonia:Describing
the Congress as a "national revolution", which led the country to
Independence from Imperialist rule, its president Sonia Gandhi on
Monday said the party always stood for secular....
Congress to celebrate 125th anniversary in a big way
Congress president Sonia Gandhi Monday made it a point to ignore P.V.
Narasimha Rao as she lavished praise on all the prime ministers it
has produced while marking the start of the 125th anniversary
celebrations of the country’s oldest political party.
After laying the foundation stone of the party’s central office on
Kotla Road here, Gandhi made no mention of Rao in her 15-minute
speech while referring to all other Congress prime ministers — from
Jawaharlal Nehru to Manmohan Singh.
Speaking at the same venue, Manmohan Singh said the Congress
believed that the solution to every problem could only come through
said the Congress — founded in 1885 during the British Raj — was
ready to accommodate all shades of opinion within the framework of
the country’s secular constitution.
Congress believes in the policies which unite and which are not
Within the constitutional framework the Congress is prepared to
accommodate all streams of thought,” he said, in remarks that could
have been directed at militants in Jammu and Kashmir as well as
Manmohan Singh, who spoke first, said the Congress government he
heads had the capacity to battle terrorism, Maoist insurgency,
communalism and regionalism.
Congress government is capable of fighting terrorism and Naxalism
efficiently,” he said.
said the Congress mission, started 125 years ago, “has to be carried
forward with renewed vigour. If the Congress gets weak, then India
gets weak. Our duty is to make the Congress very strong”.
Gandhi spoke mostly about the Congress, and its ups and downs.
said the party passed through a difficult phase in the mid-90s when
it was in the opposition. Questions were raised then if the party
could even survive.
we moved ahead without compromising our core beliefs and crossed
difficult hurdles. We got a favourable verdict in the 2004 and 2009
general elections through our dedication and hard work,” she said.
“Through our sustained efforts in this 125th year, we have to once
again establish that the Congress is always for and with the people
of our country and they look towards Congress only.
Congress mirrors the hopes and expectations of people. Its policies
fulfils these hopes. This is the basis of our existence and our
biggest strength,” she added.
Sonia Gandhi mentioned by name Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime
minister, as well as his successors Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira
Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Even as she ignored Narasimha Rao, she
profusely praised incumbent Manmohan Singh, who was injected into
politics by Rao.
“Manmohan Singhji is successfully leading the nation as a growing
power with his experience and worth to new heights and has gained
respect in the world,” she said.
turn, the prime minister said the Congress “has gained strength
under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi”.
function marked the beginning of year-long celebrations by the
Congress, which will shift to the new headquarters, called Indira