The party categorically rejected media reports claiming Sonia Gandhi was unwell.

Rahul Gandhi chairs Congress national convention as Sonia gives a miss PTI/file photo
news Politics Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 11:46
Written by  IANS

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi presided over a convention -- Jan Vedna Sammelan held in the national capital on Wednesday to reflect on the sufferings of the people in the wake of demonetisation.

These were the highlights of his speech:

  • We respected institutions like the RBI, Election Commission, the judiciary for 70 years, PM Modi and RSS reversed all this in just two and a half years
  • Demonetisation is just an excuse, since PM Modi can no longer hide behind Skill India, Make in India and doing 'jhadu yoga' politics
  • PM keeps jumping from one thing to another, people keep wondering when the 'acche din' will come
  • With demonetisation, PM Modi has broken the spine of the Indian economy. It has pushed us 16 years back
  • Demonetisation was a personal decision of PM Modi. He needs to spend time with the poor of this country
  • Friends in media are under constraints, they come to me and say they want to say some things but can't.
  • 'Acche din' will come only when Congress party comes back to power in 2019
  • PM Modi said he will transform India. But he needs to ask himself why auto sales have fallen suddenly.
  • PM Modi must ask why demand for MNREGA has suddenly surged, why are people migrating to villages instead of cities

Following Rahul Gandhi's speech, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram addressed the media. 

"The convention will highlight the pains and sufferings of the people due to the note ban policy of the Modi government. The party will also highlight the anti-people policies of the government," Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil had said on Tuesday.

The reason for party President Sonia Gandhi’s absence was not made clear by the party.

Earlier, Gandhi has presided over the party's foundation day function in December and also chaired a meeting of the party's Working Committee in the absence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

This is also likely to pave the way for Gandhi to take over as the President of the party at the earliest, according to party sources.

Asked whether Sonia Gandhi will be present at the convention, Gohil said that Rahul Gandhi led the agitation against demonetisation, so he would preside over it.

"Rahul Gandhi has led the agitation against demonetisation and therefore he'll preside over the Jan Vedna Sammelan.

"We have got a leadership in Rahul Gandhi, who is not mad for power. We have a system. Tomorrow's (Wednesday) Jan Vedna Sammelan has been called to raise the issues of the people," he added.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, members of the Congress Working Committee, senior party leaders and state leaders will be present at the convention.

"There will be discussions. Every member will express views and share ideas. The party will also pay respect to all those who lost their lives due to demonetisation," the party spokesperson said.

A resolution would be passed on late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's birth centenary (which will take place this year), said Gohil. 

"The Congress will also decide its future course of action with regard to demonetisation and other issues," he said.



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