Sonia urges party workers to shun factionalism (Lead)

June 19th, 2008 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

Mumbai, June 19 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday urged all party workers to “unite” if they wanted the country and the organization to progress. Without taking any names, she said all party leaders are first workers and they must follow their leaders. She was addressing a meeting of party delegates at the NSE Centre in Goregaon, a northwest suburb of Mumbai.

Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, a strong contender for the chief minister’s post, was seated on the stage, along with Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Gandhi added that factionalism in the party had never benefited the Congress or the country in the past. Hence it was the duty of all party workers to unite and tackle major challenges confronting the nation like divisive forces, poverty and communalism.

As in her rally of farmers at Loni Thursday afternoon, she stressed on the achievements of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, including the farm loan waiver and other schemes launched to benefit different sections of society.

Exhorting the delegates assembled from all over Maharashtra to work for strengthening the party, Gandhi said that whenever the Congress became weak, the whole country suffered.

“It is the party of the masses and concerned about the poorest, all the minorities, the most deprived and marginalized sections of society who have been left out of the fruits of progress and development,” she said.

Earlier, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Prabha Rau and Deshmukh addressed the gathering, but their speeches were drowned in the ruckus created by some party delegates over poor arrangements for the meeting.

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