As some speakers emphasised on the need to deal with Pakistan sternly saying that the neighbouring country has always been hostile to India, the Prime Minister who had joined the meeting for some time was learnt to have intervened saying, “Pakistan’s attitude is not right. We have had strained relationship with Pakistan for most of the time since its creation and we are addressing it. We want good relationship with Pakistan but not at the cost of our national honour and national interest.”
In her opening address, the Congress president had said the dialogue between the two countries “must be based on accepted principles of civilised behaviour”.
The five sub-committees — on India and the world, organisational strength, political challenges, socio-economic challenges and empowerment of women — deliberated for over three hours Friday and are scheduled to continue for another four hours Saturday before finalising the draft resolution that would be endorsed at the AICC session on Sunday.
Kerala leaders oppose diesel price increase
At the meeting of the sub-committee on socio-economic challenges, Kerala leaders including PCC chief Ramesh Chennithala and Union Minister Vyalar Ravi were learnt to have opposed the UPA government’s decision leading to a hike in the price of diesel. They demanded its rollback. They were also said to have opposed any reduction in subsidies saying that it would hurt the interest of farmers. Their opposition on these issues came in contrast with the general mood at the Congress conclave where rationalisation of subsidies and tough economic decisions are being seen as a must to bring the economy back on high growth trajectory. At the meeting, Mani Shankar Aiyar was said to have argued that Indian Constitution talks about socialism and the Congress party has also believed in it. “We should, therefore, adhere to socialism,” Aiyar was quoted by sources as having said.
‘Girls’ empowerment must begin at home’
INTERVENING in the discussion at the meeting of the sub-committee on empowerment of women, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said education of girls should start from home. “At a very young age, young boys should be taught to respect sisters. They should be taught to respect girls in the neighbourhood.”
PC for focus on block Congress committees
THE sub-committee on organisational strength held deliberations on Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s proposal to start strengthening the Congress right from Block Congress Committee level and complete the entire exercise “within two months”. General secretary Rahul Gandhi was said to have suggested that democratisation in the party should start from BCC and DCC levels.
Emphasis on keeping old coalition friends
AT the meeting of the sub-committee on political challenges, party leaders looked resigned to accept coalition politics as a reality at this juncture and the emphasis was to retain old friends under all circumstances while building new alliances. Kamal Nath said the immediate priority of the party has to win the 2014 elections at any cost. Some speakers also talked about an urgent need for both the party and the government to come on the same page on every issue demonstrating synchronisation.