Signalling that Congress is ready for the battle ahead in the Lok Sabha elections, party President Sonia Gandhi on Friday attacked the BJP saying its “divisive” ideology is the “biggest threat” while it puts up a “pretence” of moderation.
Facing BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi as the main opponent, she said secularism was a matter of deep faith for the Congress and not a matter of political compulsion.
In 20-minute speech, she also touched on the issue of corruption, a major issue stalking the UPA II government, appealing to parties to rise above political considerations to ensure passage of anti-corruption measures pending in Parliament.
“The biggest threat before the country is from communal forces and ideologies. Congress stands for uniting the people…but what is the approach of our main political opponent? I will tell you. You know it yourself.
“It is to divide the society on communal lines and spread hatred in the name of unity to impose a single identity.
They hide their real face behind the mask of moderate pretensions. They criticise our leaders and level false allegations against them and they go to the extent of spreading violence. How can such an ideology be tolerated,” Gandhi said addressing the day-long AICC session here without naming BJP.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, senior cabinet ministers and party leaders from all over the country heard her in rapt attention as she spoke of the successes of the UPA coalition.
She said the Congress workers should be proud that the party never compromised on its idelogy. “For Congress, secularism is not a political compulsion but a matter of deep faith,” she said.
CWC decision on Rahul final: Sonia
In an apparent bid to avoid reopening of the issue, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday said the Congress Working Committee (CWC) decision on vice president Rahul Gandhi not being named as party’s prime ministerial candidate is final.
“The CWC had taken a decision on Rahul Gandhi yesterday. And that is final,” she said in significant remarks before she began her formal speech at the start of the day-long All India Congress Committee (AICC) session here as delegates demanded that the Congress vice president be anointed PM candidate.
As the clamour among the delegates continued, Rahul interjected during the speech of General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi to say that whatever he feels on the subject, he would make them known when he speaks in the afternoon.