Here are the highlights of Congress President Sonia Gandhi's opening remarks at the party's brainstorming session in Surajkund:
- There is need for stronger coordination between party and government
- Party and government differ on many issues. Discussions do happen between the two, but only when really big decisions need to be taken
- Sometimes party is unhappy with decisions taken by the government. Both views have to be balanced.
- Ministers should ensure that they listen to the voice of the party worker carefully and keep their points of view in mind (when taking decisions).
- Ministers should visit state units, meet workers there regularly.
- The world economy has had an impact on India. Dr Manmohan Singh has to a large extent guided us through this difficult period in which many countries far more equipped than us have floundered.
- In view of this economic situation, our government has taken some tough decisions. It is our job to tell the people of the country very clearly (saaf saaf) why these decisions were taken.
- Our government in the last eight years has had several achievements.We can be proud of our commitment to the aam aadmi.
- We have taken several historic steps to assist all sections of society, specially the weaker segments.
- Though we have challenges ahead, our incomparable programmes and new laws/acts have changed the image of India.
- The opposition has attacked our programmes and policies of false basis and spread rumours about them. We will strongly reply to these rumours and allegations.
- Our detractors want to grab power at any cost, notwithstanding that their greed would weaken democracy and secular values.
- Those in the government should strive hard to fulfill unfulfilled promises in the 2009 manifesto.