With its image battered by a series of corruption allegations, Congress on Sunday launched a counter offensive against the opposition, especially BJP, saying it was "neck-deep" in corruption and gave clear signals that the UPA government will go ahead with implementing FDI in retail.
The Congress bigwigs including party chief Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi utilised a well-attended party rally, where party chief ministers and other leaders were present, to convey the message that the party was on board on economic reforms and the recent fuel price hike notwithstanding the strident attack from the opposition.
Dispelling any impression about Congress and the government having second thoughts on the FDI issue, Sonia Gandhi said that the country needed a large dose of investement, of which FDI is a part, to boost growth and employment.
Lauding the stewardship of the Prime Minister at a time when the world was witnessing economic distress, she said that India has fared much better than many other countries and the government has to provide jobs for 80 to 100 lakh youth who enter the job market every year.
Against the backdrop of attacks on Congress over a number of scams, Gandhi said corruption is a cancer which affects the poor the most and declared that whoever is found guilty will not be spared.
In a veiled attack on BJP, which she did not name, Gandhi said that those levelling false allegations against Congress, were themselves "neckdeep" in corruption. "
"Those who dig ditches for others, have a well ready for them", she said quoting a Hindi proverb in an apparent reference to corruption charges against BJP including those faced by its President Nitin Gadkari.
Claiming credit for enacting RTI to bring transparency and check corruption, Gandhi said such a law can be brought only by those who want to eradicate corruption and that was the reason the government brought the Lokpal bill, but BJP did not allow its passage in Rajya Sabha.