Congress plenary attacks ‘insidious’ RSS, ‘disease’ of corruption (Roundup)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

NEW DELHI - A combative Congress Sunday declared a no-holds war on right-wing groups, especially the RSS on its terror links, and also outlined a four-point agenda to fight the blight of corruption that has made the party-led central government the target of repeated attacks over numerous scams.

According to the political resolution adopted at the Burari meet, secularism, the lifeline of Indian democracy “is threatened by the ideology of the BJP and its affiliate organisations like the RSS. The RSS and the VHP are insidious in their effort to break India.”

“The Indian National Congress calls upon the government to tackle this menace in the strongest possible manner and investigate the links between terrorists and the RSS and its sister organisations that have been uncovered in some recent cases,” the resolution said.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, while addressing party leaders and workers at the party’s 83rd plenary, outlined a four-point agenda to deal with graft involving officials and also politicians, including fast-tracking cases.

Gandhi set the tone for the meeting by speaking about the party’s record of dealing with allegations of misconduct and corruption against its leaders and comparing it with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) handling of complaints of nepotism against its chief minister in Karnataka.

The four-point agenda outlined by Sonia Gandhi, was: fast-tracking all cases concerning corruption, including of politicians; all corruption cases should be brought to closure in a defined time frame; clear and full transparency in all procurement cases and contracts; since discretionary powers in land allocation “breed corruption”, she asked Congress chief ministers and leaders to “set an example by reviewing and relinquishing such powers”; and fourthly to bring a more competitive system of exploiting natural resources.

Gandhi also spoke of the Congress not making a distinction between organisations of the majority and minority communities which indulge in communalism and related acts of terrorism. “They are all dangerous and must be all defeated,” she said.

She also firmly backed the prime minister, praising him for his “unwavering devotion” to the nation’s prosperity and calling the opposition’s “personal attack” on him “despicable”.

Prior to the adoption of the political resolution, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh mounted a fierce attack on the RSS, even likening it to the Nazis. “The RSS in the garb of its nationalist ideology is targetting Muslims the same way Nazis targetted Jews in the 1930s,” Singh said, while taking part in the discussion on the political resolution.

He said the RSS had made its activists “infiltrate” the bureaucracy and even the army and raised a question as to “why all people involved in various bombings like Malegaon, Mecca Masjid, Samjhauta Express had links with” the organization.

He also launched a scathing attack on the BJP over “demolition of the Babri Masjid”. Singh said L.K. Advani’s 1990 Rath Yatra was responsible for sowing the seeds of terrorism in India and for creating a gulf between Hindus and Muslims.

Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who spoke during the discussion on the political resolution, talked in the same vein as his mother on the need to tackle corruption but elaborated on the need for the party to identify with the common man more closely.

“We will never build a nation until we build a system in which this man’s (common man’s) progress is based not on who he knows but what he knows,” Gandhi said in his speech that was in part delivered in Hindi.

The political resolution blamed the BJP for leading the “disruption” of parliament. It said that the Left parties have also “been working in tandem with the BJP in opposing the UPA (United Progressive Alliance government).”

The resolution said that parties like Telugu Desam Party, Janata Dal-United and Biju Janata Dal “continue to work in collaboration” with the BJP.

The United Progressive Alliance government has been attacked over the 2G spectrum allocation scam that led to the resignation of A. Raja as communications minister, the Adarsh housing society scam that led to Ashok Chavan being asked to quit as Maharashtra chief minister, and the corruption allegations over the preparations for the Commonwealth Games.

Attacking the Left parties, the resolution said that the party rejects all attempts to perpetrate a cycle of violence for political advantages in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura.

The resolution said necessity of coalition politics does not prevent party’s state-level workers from “hoping and dreaming of a larger political space wherever they may be.”

The resolution on the party completing 125 years lauded Sonia Gandhi for her leadership.

The plenary Monday will take up economic and foreign policy resolutions.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also expected to speak Monday, the concluding day of the plenary.

The party has made elaborate arrangements for delegates who thronged the plenary venue in large numbers. Party leaders said that over 15,000 party leaders and workers will attend the two-day delegate meet. Arrangements had been made by the organizers for food and snacks for participants. A cultural programme was also organized Sunday evening.

Filed under: Terrorism

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