Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the All Indian Congress Committee (AICC) on Friday said that there was no reason for the party to be disheartened because it did not do well in the Assembly polls; rather it was time to introspect, and added that when there is a comparison with the opposition, it will be clear who is a better performer.
“Although, the Congress didn’t do well in recent assembly polls, there is no reason to be disheartened. Rather we must introspect, and help to strategize better for the Lok Sabha polls,” said Singh.
“When opposition and our work are compared, it will be clear who has performed well,” he said.
“For seven years we have maintained a growth rate of eight percent. Although, the growth declined due to global meltdown, we aren't the only country which witnessed a decline, and other developing countries too faced problems,” he added.
He said that poverty had declined during the UPA rule.
“Poverty has declined under UPA rule, and we have recorded an increase in agricultural productivity. We also took firm steps to ensure women safety and security and have also ensured employment to rural youth,” he said.
“The Congress has done a lot in the education sector as well. Over 11 crores students are getting mid-day meals,” he added.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi at the All India Congress Committee meet said that the decision taken by the party that Vice President Rahul Gandhi will be the poll panel head is final, and that the Congress was ready for the battle.
This meeting has been organized to strategize the party's move ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election, and will also be deciding the role of Rahul Gandhi.
Senior Congress leader Janardhan Dwivedi on Thursday had said that there was a discussion on Rahul Gandhi as many felt he should be named the party's prime ministerial candidate, however president Sonia Gandhi intervened in between, saying that 'it is not the tradition of the Congress that just because some party has declared their candidate, doesn't mean we should too'.
However there was consensus at the AICC meeting that the Congress campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be led by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.
"This meeting of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) declares that 2014 General Elections campaign will be led by Rahul Gandhi," Dwivedi told media after the Congress Party meeting.
Dwivedi also quoted Rahul as saying, "I am loyal party worker. I will carry out whatever responsibility is given to me."