Sonia Extends A Helping Hand

New Delhi, May 24: | Updated: May 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday extended a “hand of support” to the government in the “critical hour” as “grave security siutation” prevailed in the region but lambasted it for “monumental incompetence on many fronts”.

In her inaugural address at the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) session here, she said a “very delicate” situation had arisen due to stepped-up cross-border terrorism but cautioned the goverment against taking steps which would “not lead to positive results” as both India and Pakistan were nuclear powers.

Emphasising continuance of diplomatic efforts, she said “our view should reach all countries in the world through diplomatic channels. We should do it in such a way that the world listens to our voice and understands our difficulties in the proper perspective”.

Hitting out at the government, she said “it was shockingly insensitive to the needs of the people, particularly the poor and the weaker sections of society. This is a government that is marked by drift, propelled by inaction and sustained by nothing but greed for power”.

The political resolution adopted by the meet said the country faced a real threat to secularism and democracy at the hands of communal and reactionary forces “who have captured the apparatus of the state at the centre”, and demanded President’s rule in Gujarat.

Charging the government with lack of any strategy on Jammu and Kashmir, the resolution said the situation in the state had worsened due to this. “High rhetoric is the preferred mode, not solid, practical steps towards defusing tensions and building consensus”, it said.

Vigilance at the border was so lax that the domestic problems of the state were compounded and magnified by external dimension of cross-border terrorism and even invasion across the line of control, the resolution said.

The party also seemed to be ready for coalitions now with the resolution saying the party will act “within the parametres set out at Pachmarhi and Bangalore plenary sessions in this regard”. The resolution on foreign policy while extending “broad support” to the government in crushing cross-border terrorism, cautioned that “this is time for thoughtful and prudent action, not populist pronouncements”.