नीयत नेक है, भारत एक है

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sonia Gandhi launched the ‘Ahimsa Messenger’

I am very happy to be present here at the launch of ‘Ahimsa Messenger’ programme. The wonderful gathering a huge number of women and young girls has ignited the environment with a fresh energy and renewed hope.. This enthusiasm is genuine as this programme – Ahimsa Messenger – is directly dealing with empowerment of the women and their safety.  This Ahimsa Messenger programme is aimed at generating awareness about basic legal rights of the women, their economic and social development and on their respect and safety.  To achieve this, the programme envisages generating awareness amongst the community and giving training to the various cadres of grass root level workers.  Further there will be programmes to generate awareness amongst the adolescent girls and boys about their civic responsibilities and duties.

Rajiv Gandhi had a farsighted vision and he considered that the women are the main soul of the society.  Political empowerment of the women was always the main focus for Rajiv Gandhi and he put in all his sincere efforts to implement 33% reservation for women in Panchayats.  Following his footsteps, the UPA Government at the centre increased the percentage of women in panchayats from 33% to 50%. Today, lakhs of women across the country have actively been taking part in Panchayati Raj administration. Women in good numbers have now been contributing at various levels like education, art, industry, banking, science, administration and politics. When women are reaching new milestones with their commendable performance at different walks of life,  there are also shameful incidents of child marriage, female foeticide, dowry-related atrocities, domestic and sexual violence. 

I am happy to underline that the UPA Government at the Centre implemented various schemes, policies and laws to ensure the safety of women and for their empowerment. We brought in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act , 2013 to ensure stringent punishment for those who indulge in sexual crimes against women. UPA also has passed the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 to protect women’s right to equality, life and liberty. We also brought in a law to ensure women equal share in property.  Further, the bill to ensure women reservation in Parliament and Assemblies has already been introduced.  The wages of Anganwadi workers have been doubled. Enough provisions are there to protect the interests of the women in the Food Security Bill, recently passed in the Lok Sabha. While ensuring legal entitlement for the subsidized food grains through the PDS, the Bill in addition, also has the clause to provide a financial assistance of Rs. 6000 to the pregnant women. The responsibility to run the PDS shops will be entrusted with the Self Help Group for women. Through the National Rural Ajeevika Mission, women are now can avail loans at lower rates with the help of Self Help Groups and thus to make them self reliant.

Further the adolescent girls are being benefitted by the SABLA scheme, implemented to enable self-development and their empowerment, to improve their health and nutrition status and also to provide skill development training. The girls who successfully come out after the training will be the main activists of this Ahimsa Messenger programme and the Anganwadi workers will have the role of coaches.

We know that making laws and policies is not enough; but we also have to implement them at the grass-root levels. The most fundamental issue is that the mindset and old thoughts of our society have to be changed. In this modern society, we must be ready to ensure equal rights for women; it is our responsibility and a challenge.  What we want now is a social revolution to demolish all the walls of discrimination amongst women.

I want to tell my sisters assembled here that the first step in this direction should start from us and that too from our homes. We all know that parents are the best teachers as far as children are concerned.

In a family the right that a male child has should be given to a girl child too. Like every boy, each girl child also has the right to get proper education, training, job and also to secure a respectable position in the society. Girls also must have the feeling of safety, self-reliance and confidence.  I earnestly hope that this Ahimsa Messenger programme will have a great role make this mission possible.

I take this opportunity to congratulate Smt Krishna Tirath and her colleagues and staff for launching this prestigious scheme. I also thank the huge gathering of girls and Anganwadi workers who are assembled here in this wonderful function. 

Let us take a pledge today that we will, together, work hand-in-hand, to put an end to the atrocities and violence against women. Let us all work together to ensure empowerment, development and respect to all our sisters.
Thank you.

Sonia Gandhi launches Ahimsa Messenger, says atrocities against women must end

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Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched the ‘Ahimsa Messenger’ Programme – an initiative by the Centre to address the violence against women - on Saturday. “This Ahimsa Messenger programme is aimed at generating awareness about basic legal rights of the women, their economic and social development and on their respect and safety” said Sonia Gandhi. The Congress President also said that just making laws would not prevent crimes. “We know that making laws and policies is not enough; but we also have to implement them at the grass-root levels. The most fundamental issue is that the mindset and old thoughts of our society have to be changed. In this modern society, we must be ready to ensure equal rights for women; it is our responsibility and a challenge. What we want now is a social revolution to demolish all the walls of discrimination amongst women,” said Sonia Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi addresses the function after launching Ahimsa Messenger in New Delhi

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched the 'Ahimsa Messenger' Programme -- an initiative to address the violence against women by the Centre - on Saturday. Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister, Women and Child Development in the presence of Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo Minister, Panchayati Raj and Tribal Affairs were also present. Nearly 30,000 girls from Delhi NCR who have been benefitted by Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls or SABLA also attended the function.

Sonia Gandhi launches Ahimsa Messenger; stresses for safety and empowerment of women

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched the ‘Ahimsa Messenger’ Programme – an initiative by the Centre to address the violence against women - on Saturday.

“This Ahimsa Messenger programme is aimed at generating awareness about basic legal rights of the women, their economic and social development and on their respect and safety” said Sonia Gandhi. The Congress President also said that just making laws would not prevent crimes.  “We know that making laws and policies is not enough; but we also have to implement them at the grass-root levels. There is a need to change the mindset of the people in our society. In this modern society, we must be ready to ensure equal rights for women; it is our responsibility and a challenge.  What we want now is a social revolution, to break all barriers which prevent equality for women” said Sonia Gandhi.

“In a family the right that a male child has should be given to a girl child too. Like every boy, each girl child also has the right to get proper education, training, job and also to secure a respectable position in the society” added the UPA Chairperson.

While expressing her concern over the growing crimes against women, Sonia Gandhi commented “When women are reaching new milestones with their commendable performance at different walks of life, there are also shameful incidents of child marriage, female foeticide, dowry-related atrocities, domestic and sexual violence”. 

“Let us take a pledge today that we will, together, work hand-in-hand, to put an end to the atrocities and violence against women. Let us all work together to ensure empowerment, development and respect to all our sisters” she urged the huge gathering of girls and Anganwadi Workers present while concluding her address.

Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister, Women and Child Development in the presence of Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo Minister, Panchayati Raj and Tribal Affairs were also present. Nearly 30,000 girls from Delhi NCR who have been benefitted by Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls or SABLA also attended the function.

This initiative addresses violence against women in all forms through a mass movement by creating numerous Ahimsa Messengers in various parts of the country, till the grassroots level. This programme aims at preventing violence against women and children and generating awareness about basic legal rights, procedures and provisions amongst women and children at the grassroots. The programme involves both men and women including youths to address and eliminate all forms of violence against women and children at grassroots and facilitate social/community mobilization to fight social evils. Ahimsa Messengers would also serve as link workers in case of any violence and also facilitate the women to approach the concerned authorities in case of incidences of violence for suitable redressal and follow up on the case.

This programme will be implemented through all Anganwadi Centres, all Panchayati Raj Institutions, Sabla Girls (in the age group of 16-18 years) and Poorna Shakti Kendras (PSK) coordinators under the National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW) will be trained as Ahimsa Messengers.

Sonia Gandhi speaks after the launch of Ahimsa Messenger in New Delhi

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched the 'Ahimsa Messenger' Programme -- an initiative to address the violence against women by the Centre - on Saturday. Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister, Women and Child Development in the presence of Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo Minister, Panchayati Raj and Tribal Affairs were also present. Nearly 30,000 girls from Delhi NCR who have been benefitted by Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls or SABLA also attended the function.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sonia Gandhi launches Ahimsa Messenger - an initiative to curb violence against women

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched the 'Ahimsa Messenger' Programme -- an initiative to address the violence against women by the Centre - on Saturday. Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister, Women and Child Development in the presence of Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo Minister, Panchayati Raj and Tribal Affairs were also present. Nearly 30,000 girls from Delhi NCR who have been benefitted by Rajiv Gandhi Scheme

I am happy, says Rahul Gandhi on the passage of Land Acquisition bill in Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the landmark Land Acquisition Bill, which seeks to provide just and fair compensation to farmers while ensuring that no land can be acquired forcibly, with overwhelming majority. The bill is definitely is the brain-child of Congress Vice President and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi.

"I am happy that Land Acquisition Bill has been passed", said Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi after the passage of the path-breaking Bill. Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, though she is under rest after a hospital check-up,  also attended the proceedings for a brief period.
"The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2012" stipulates mandatory consent of at least 70 per cent for acquiring land for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects and 80 per cent for acquiring land for private companies.

The Bill, which will replace over a century-old law, proposes compensation that is up to four times the market value in rural areas and two times the market value in urban areas.

The Bill was passed with 216 votes in favour and 19 against. Left parties, AIADMK and BJD members staged a walkout. Trinamool Congress voted against the Bill while main Opposition BJP as also SP and BSP supported the legislation.
Following are the highlights of the Land Acquisition Bill passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday:

-Payment of compensations that is up to 4 times the market value in rural areas and 2 times the market value in urban areas.

- To address historical injustice the Bill applies retrospectively to cases where no land acquisition award has been made.

- No law can be acquired in Scheduled Areas without the consent of the Gram Sabhas.

- No one shall be dispossessed until and unless all payments are made and alternative sites for the resettlement and rehabilitation have been prepared.
- Compensation to those who are dependent on the land being acquired for their livelihood.

- In cases where PPP projects are involved or acquisition is taking place for private companies, the Bill requires the consent of no less than 70 per cent and 80 per cent respectively (in both cases) of those whose land is sought to be acquired.

- To safeguard food security and to prevent arbitrary acquisition, the Bill directs States to impose limits on the area under agricultural cultivation that can be acquired.

- In case land remains unutilised after acquisition, the new Bill empowers states to return the land either to the owner or to the State Land Bank.
- No income tax shall be levied and no stamp duty shall be charged on any amount that accrues to an individual as a result of the provisions of the new law.
- Where acquired land is sold to a third party for a higher price than 40 per cent of the appreciated land value (or profit) will be shared with the original owners.

- In every project those losing land and belonging to the SC or ST will be provided land equivalent to land acquired or two and a one-half acres, whichever is lower (this is higher than in the case of non-SC/ST affected families)
- Where the affected families belonging to the SC and the ST are relocated outside of the district then they shall be paid an additional 25 rehabilitation and resettlement benefits to which they are entitled in monetary terms along with a one-time entitlement of fifty thousand rupees.

381 amendments were moved to the Bill, of which 166 were official ones. Of the Opposition amendments, some were withdrawn and others defeated during voting.
The government accepted some opposition amendments, including two moved by Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. These included that instead of acquisition, land could be leased to developers so that its ownership remains with farmers and provide them regular annual income.

Asserting that the new law will address "historical injustice", the Government said this law is being enacted under the Concurrent list and the states can bring their own law on the subject without derogating from the central law. The Bill will replace the archaic Act of 1894 which suffers from various shortcomings including silence on the issue of resettlement and rehabilitation of those displaced by the acquisition of land.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rahul Gandhi stresses for Dalit empowerment

New Delhi: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, while speaking at the ' National Dialogue on Social Disparity ' organised by the National Commission for Women Scheduled Castes at the Constitution Club in New Delhi on Tuesday emphasized that there is a need to encourage the weaker sections and Dalits. He asserted that there was a need to lift the weaker sections of the people from the grass root up the hierarchy. "I want Dalits to once again feel that they are the backbone of Congress Party," said Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress President said further "We need to provide weaker sections and Dalits with better educational opportunities and there is also a need to change the education system". Rahul Gandhi said he had been able to make the assessment after visiting the states in the country and witnessing the elections during the last eight to nine years he has been in the politics of the country.

"When we have the elections for the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha, how many people take decisions? How many people decide as to who will contest the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls, who will become the Prime Minister? " asked Rahul Gandhi and also pointed out that only 500 people take a final call on who would be the candidates for the polls and who would be the person leading the country.
In the Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi said, around a hundred people were involved in taking a final call on the selection of candidates to contest the elections and around 70 to 80 people were involved in taking a final decision in the BJP. In the Samajwadi Party, the decision was taken by three persons, and the BJD two people. In the BSP, the privilege of taking the decision was that of only one person. In the ultimate analysis, only 500 people took the decision.

"I want to tell you that till the time these 500 people continue to take decisions about the country's politics, the voices of the Dalits will not reach the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha," he added. Rahul Gandhi further recalled that it was his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who helped spread telecommunications across the country by installing a PCO in every village. "Earlier, only the MPs and MLAs had the right to communications. And that is exactly what is happening in the country's political system at present," said the Congress Vice President.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sonia Gandhi’s health stable, discharged from the hospital

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi who was admitted in Delhi’s AIIMS after she felt uncomfort while attending the Lok Sabha proceedings on Monday night, was discharged from hospital at 1:30 am on Tuesday.
"Mrs Gandhi had cold and a headache. She had a medicine and started feeling uneasy in Parliament. She came here, we conducted tests... everything is normal. She left for home in her own car," a doctor at AIIMS informed.

Sonia Gandhi, 66, was taken to AIIMS from Parliament after she complained of chest pain. She had left during voting on amendments to the food security bill, a historic welfare scheme Sonia Gandhi has championed ardently. Her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were with her at the hospital.

In her historic speech in the Lok Sabha on Monday, the Congress Presdient appealed to all parties to unanimously support a chance to make history by passing the food security bill that legally entitles 67 per cent of India to subsidized food.

The AIIMS spokesperson had said that she had been taken to the Intensive Care Unit as a precaution, but said there was "nothing serious" about her condition.
Sonia Gandhi left Parliament at 8:15 pm escorted by her son and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi: Food Security scheme an opportunity to transform the lives of poor in our country.

"We had promised in 2009 that we will bring the Food Security Bill to provide subsidized food grains to the poor and I am happy to say on behalf of my party that we are fulfilling that promise" added Sonia Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi: Food Security scheme an opportunity to transform the lives of millions of people

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, while taking part in the debate on the historic Food Security Bill in the Parliament, requested all the members to pass UPA’s flagship welfare scheme to provide subsidized food to the poor in the country.

While speaking in the Lok Sabha, a determined and confident Sonia Gandhi asserted, “Some people ask whether we have enough resources to successfully implement this bill. But it is not a question of how we find means to implement Food Bill; we have to find the way. The question is not whether we can do it or not; we have to do it. Some people also ask whether this bill is beneficial for the farmers. I want to underline that we have always given prominence to farmers and agriculture”. 

“We had promised in 2009 that we will bring the Food Security Bill to provide subsidized food grains to the poor and I am happy to say on behalf of my party that we are fulfilling that promise” added Sonia Gandhi.

She also listed some of the major legislations brought in by the UPA Government and said that the Food Security scheme is the fifth in the row after the RTI, MNREGA, RTE and Right to Forest Act. “The food Security Bill is thus the fifth in a series of what might be called a right-based approach which provides legal entitlement to the people, puts pressure on the executive to be more responsive and accountable and also puts in place a credible mechanism to redress grievances. This approach, I believe, will bring in about an empowerment revolution in our country something we are proud to have facilitated”.

Sonia Gandhi said that our goal must be to wipe out hunger and malnutrition from our country. “This legislation is only the beginning as we move forward we will be more open to constructive suggestions and we will learn from experience” added the Congress President.

“We have today, an opportunity to transform the lives of tens of millions of our people and I believe that we must, together, rise to the occasion, set aside our differences, and a firm act of commitment to their welfare and well-being. It is my fervent hope and humble appeal that we, as the representative of those very people, should convert this Bill into an Act and do so unanimously” concluded Sonia Gandhi.

The Food Security scheme has been championed by Sonia Gandhi and is being seen as the one of the land mark legislations brought in by the Centre. The government introduced the Food Security scheme as an ordinance in July which must get the nod of the Parliament before September 6. The Parliament has started the discussion on Monday.

Text of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi’s speech in Parliament

I am standing in support of the Food Security Bill. We have got a historic opportunity now, to take an important decision so that we can find out a permanent solution to the problems of several poor people in our country. We had promised in 2009 that we will bring the Food Security Bill to provide subsidized food grains to the poor and I am happy to say on behalf of my party that we are fulfilling that promise. 

It is good that in the past few years, people from various sections of the society could avail several benefits. But it is a matter of great concern that there are people who are still not able to avail the fruits of our welfare schemes. What is our responsibility towards those people is the big question before us. What should be the responsibility of the government towards those people who still suffer from malnutrition?

This is a chance to send a historic message by our Parliament today. A clear message is being sent out today that India ensuring food security to all its citizens. This is the chance to make sure that no child in our country suffers from malnutrition, grows up in a healthy manner and contributes later for country’s growth. Today Parliament has an opportunity to make it a right for people to receive food they are entitled to.

Some people ask whether we have enough resources to successfully implement this bill. But it is not a question of how we find means to implement Food Bill; we have to find the way. The question is not whether we can do it or not; but we have to do it. Some people also ask whether this bill is beneficial for the farmers. I want to underline that we have always given prominence to farmers and agriculture.  We have given top-most priority to their issues and will continue to do so. We also have to regain the momentum of the economic growth.

We are aware of the ongoing PDS scheme in our country. There more than 5 lac PDS shops across the country; in some places they work properly and at some places its functioning is not satisfactory. The access to the PDS shops are also not similar everywhere. There is a need to reform the PDS scheme. We have to ensure that its benefits reach to the right people in right manner. There are leakages in PDS and this has to be plugged. We want to reform the PDS so that its benefit reach maximum people and this is one of the main focuses in the Food Security Bill.

The food security will act as an effective tool to empower the poor, ensure more accountability in the administration and to make the system more beneficial. This bill ensure the association of Self Help Group for women and the gram panchayats in PDS and in the future Food Security Bill will help wipe out menace of bogus ration cards with the help of Aadhar. I also feel happy that this Bill protects the interests of Anthyoday families.

This bill also takes care of ICDS and mid-day meal schemes.  We have to agree that there are some short comings in these schemes but with our committed and sincere efforts we can rectify such flaws as we know that these schemes are unparalleled in the world. About 10 crores of children in about 12 lakh schools are benefitting by the mid-day meal scheme. There are about nine crores children, good number of pregnant women and several milk-feeding mothers in about 14 lakh Anganvadi Kendras across the country. So it is our combined responsibility to rectify any short-comings in these schemes. The states also should take the responsibility for it.

Madam Speaker,
Before I conclude allow me a few moments to look back a little. Under the leadership of our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, our UPA Government in 2005 brought in Right to Information Law that ushered in unprecedented transparency in public life, sometimes to our own disadvantage.    Little after that, the right to work – the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, became a reality. This provided employment to one in every four households in the past seven years and has led to increase rural wages. In 2006 we brought path breaking Forest Rights Act which has benefitted lakhs of tribals and other families who have traditionally relied on forests for their livelihood. In 2008 we the Right to Education became a Law. This has already led to a sharp increase in the enrolment in schools.

The food Security Bill is thus the fifth in a series of what might be called a right-based approach which provides legal entitlement to the people, puts pressure on the executive to be more responsive and accountable and also puts in place a credible mechanism  to redress grievances. This approach, I believe, will bring in about an empowerment revolution in our country something we are proud to have facilitated.

Madam Speaker,
Our goal must be to wipe out hunger and malnutrition from our country. This legislation is only the beginning as we move forward we will be more open to constructive suggestions and we will learn from experience.

In essence, Madam Speaker, We have today, an opportunity to transform the lives of tens of millions of our people and I believe that we must, together, rise to the occasion, set aside our differences, and a firm act of commitment to their welfare and well-being. It is my fervent hope and humble appeal that we, as the representative of those very people, should convert this Bill into an Act and do so unanimously.
Thank you.

Food Security Bill is India's chance to make history, says Sonia Gandhi in Lok Sabha

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while taking part in the debate on historic Food Security Bill in the Parliament requested all the members to pass UPA's flagship welfare scheme to provide subsidized food to nearly 70% of population.

Sonia Gandhi in Lok Sabha: Food Bill is a big message; seeks support of all to pass it

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while taking part in the debate on historic Food Security Bill in the Parliament. The question is not whether we can do it or not; we have to do it. Some people also ask whether this bill is beneficial for the farmers. I want to underline that we have always given prominence to farmers and agriculture".

Sonia Gandhi in Lok Sabha urges MPs: Set aside differences, pass the Food Security Bill

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while taking part in the debate on historic Food Security Bill in the Parliament requested all the members to pass UPA's flagship welfare scheme to provide subsidized food to nearly 70% of population.

Sonia Gandhi's powerful speech on Food Security Bill in Lok Sabha

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while taking part in the debate on historic Food Security Bill in the Parliament requested all the members to pass UPA's flagship welfare scheme to provide subsidized food to nearly 70% of population. While speaking in the Lok Sabha, a determined and confident Sonia Gandhi asserted, "Some people ask whether we have enough resources to successfully implement this bill. But it is not a question of how we find means to implement Food Bill;

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sonia Gandhi talks about historic Food Security Bill in Lok Sabha

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New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while taking part in the debate on historic Food Security Bill in the Parliament requested all the members to pass UPA’s flagship welfare scheme to provide subsidized food to nearly 70% of population. While speaking in the Lok Sabha, a determined and confident Sonia Gandhi asserted, “Some people ask whether we have enough resources to successfully implement this bill. But it is not a question of how we find means to implement Food Bill; we have to find the way. The question is not whether we can do it or not; we have to do it. Some people also ask whether this bill is beneficial for the farmers. I want to underline that we have always given prominence to farmers and agriculture”.

Sonia Gandhi's dream project Food Security Bill passed by Lok Sabha

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while taking part in the debate on historic Food Security Bill in the Parliament requested all the members to pass UPA's flagship welfare scheme to provide subsidized food to nearly 70% of population. While speaking in the Lok Sabha, a determined and confident Sonia Gandhi asserted, "Some people ask whether we have enough resources to successfully implement this bill. But it is not a question of how we find means to implement Food Bill; we have to find the way. The question is not whether we can do it or not; we have to do it. Some people also ask whether this bill is beneficial for the farmers. I want to underline that we have always given prominence to farmers and agriculture".

Sonia Gandhi takes part in the debate in Lok Sabha on Food Security Bill

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while taking part in the debate on historic Food Security Bill in the Parliament requested all the members to pass UPA's flagship welfare scheme to provide subsidized food to nearly 70% of population. While speaking in the Lok Sabha, a determined and confident Sonia Gandhi asserted, "Some people ask whether we have enough resources to successfully implement this bill. But it is not a question of how we find means to implement Food Bill; we have to find the way. The question is not whether we can do it or not; we have to do it. Some people also ask whether this bill is beneficial for the farmers. I want to underline that we have always given prominence to farmers and agriculture".

Sonia Gandhi calls Food Bill historic, says Congress is keeping its promise

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while taking part in the debate on historic Food Security Bill in the Parliament requested all the members to pass UPA’s  flagship welfare scheme to provide subsidized food to nearly 70% of population.

While speaking in the Lok Sabha, a determined and confident Sonia Gandhi asserted, “Some people ask whether we have enough resources to successfully implement this bill. But it is not a question of how we find means to implement Food Bill; we have to find the way. The question is not whether we can do it or not;  we have to do it. Some people also ask whether this bill is beneficial for the farmers. I want to underline that we have always given prominence to farmers and agriculture”. 

“We had promised in 2009 that we will bring the Food Security Bill to provide subsidized food grains to the poor and I am happy to say on behalf of my party that we are fulfilling that promise” added Sonia Gandhi

She also listed some of the major legislations brought in by the UPA Government and said that the Food Security scheme is the fifth in the raw after the RTI, MNREGA, RTE and Right to Forest Act. “The food Security Bill is thus the fifth in a series of what might be called a right-based approach which provides legal entitlement to the people, puts pressure on the executive to be more responsive and accountable and also puts in place a credible mechanism  to redress grievances. This approach, I believe, will bring in about an empowerment revolution in our country something we are proud to have facilitated”.

 Sonia Gandhi said that our goal must be to wipe out hunger and malnutrition from our country. “This legislation is only the beginning as we move forward we will be more open to constructive suggestions and we will learn from experience” added the Congress President.  “We have today, an opportunity to transform the lives of tens of millions of our people and I believe that we must, together, rise to the occasion, set aside our differences, and a firm act of commitment to their welfare and well-being. It is my fervent hope and humble appeal that we, as the representative of those very people, should convert this Bill into an Act and do so unanimously” concluded Sonia Gandhi.

The Food Security scheme has been championed by Sonia Gandhi and is being seen as the one of the land mark legislation brought in the Centre. The government introduced the Food Security scheme as an ordinance in July which must get the nod of the Parliament before September 6.

Sonia Gandhi talks on Food Security Bill in Lok Sabha

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi speaks in Lok Sabha on the historic Food Security Bill. She said that it is a historic chance for the Parliament to ensure right to food to the poor.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sonia Gandhi speaks at the inaugural function of National Media Centre in New Delhi

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday inaugurated the National Media Centre. While addressing the gathering Sonia Gandhi, who is also the Congress President, said that media need not be the enemy of the government and also said that the government welcome all criticism. In her address Sonia Gandhi asserted “Media and the government often disagree. The editorial columns and the voices of the prime time news provide ample evidence for this. But I venture to say that this can be healthy and there need not be any antagonism between the two”.

Sonia Gandhi: Media need not be Government’s enemy; we welcome all criticism

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday inaugurated the National Media Centre. While addressing the gathering after the inauguration of the centre, Sonia Gandhi, who is also the Congress President, said that media need not be the enemy of the government and also said that the government welcome all criticism.

In her address Sonia Gandhi asserted “Media and the government often disagree. The editorial columns and the voices of the prime time news provide ample evidence for this.  But I venture to say that this can be healthy and there need not be any antagonism between the two”.

Sonia Gandhi also said that well-intentioned criticism of the policies of the government by the media was welcome, as the media played an important watchdog function. “We welcome the watchdog role of the media and well founded and well intentioned criticism of our policies and programmes. We recognise that there could be shortcoming that needs to be highlighted” said the Congress President.
”Our media has evolved over the years into a vibrant and matured institution that cherishes its freedom and independence and exercise it with a commendable responsibility at least most of the time. Its sheer diversity ensures that on balance it functions to benefit the institutions of democracy and democratic foundations of our society” she added.

The National Media Centre, located at 7-E, Raisina Road, is spread over a 1.95 acre plot on Raisina road here and equipped with latest technologies of information dissemination. It will have offices of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) as well as special facilities for media. The Centre has been constructed by the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) at a cost of Rs 60 crore over a period of three years with a total covered area of 13,867 sqm. The plot size is 7787.46 sqm (1.95 acres).

It has a press conference hall for 283 media persons, a briefing room for about 60 persons, 24 work stations for journalists, a library, media lounge and cafeteria. The press conference hall and media lounge are wi-fi enabled. Among the facilities provided at the centre are optic fibre Internet backbone with redundancy, mini data centre for application development and hosting webcast, including live webcast, Video feed to TV channels, IT facilities to media persons in work area and lounge, Internet telephony and AV Video Wall. The world class media centre will have two basements, a ground floor and four floors above it.

The Centre was initially conceptualised by the PIB in 1989 to facilitate greater interaction between the government and the media with a state-of- the-art equipped media centre.

Text of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi’s speech

Rahul Gandhi urges Congress leaders to counter false propaganda with facts

New Delhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday urged his party leaders to fight the BJP’s half truths and negative campaign with facts and ideology. The young Congress vice-president compared India to a computer, saying Congress was its default programme.

Rahul Gandhi, along with party colleagues Manish Tewari, Ajay Maken, Deepender Singh Hooda, Priya Dutt and Shashi Tharoor, addressed the Congress's workshop to train spokespersons on the best way to use social media platforms. He emphasised the need to send out a positive message based on the party's ideology.
Apart from the PCC representatives, several volunteers who have contributed their views to defend and promote the Congress on social media also participated in the one-day workshop in the Capital.

In the meeting Rahul Gandhi only gave ideological view about the way party should fight the BJP; he didn't name anyone in particular."We shouldn't break the decorum. Whatever the provocation we shouldn't cross the line. Maintain the line of decency," Rahul Gandhi said. He asked Congress leaders not to get provoked by the BJP and to counter them with facts."We should go well prepared. There is no place for anger. Our country is known for tolerance," further said Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress's communication chief, Ajay Maken, who asked others to not give "too much" importance and attention to Modi, also justified the need to respond to him with facts and figures because of the media attention he has been receiving. The Congress will also be replicating its communication wings at the Centre and in the states for a more formalised, effective and coordinated message across the country.

Sonia Gandhi at National Media Centre welcomes the watchdog role of the media

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday inaugurated the National Media Centre alongwith the Prime Minister. While addressing the gathering Sonia Gandhi, who is also the Congress President, said that media need not be the enemy of the government and also said that the government welcome all criticism. In her address Sonia Gandhi asserted "Media and the government often disagree. The editorial columns and the voices of the prime time news provide ample evidence for this. But I venture to say that this can be healthy and there need not be any antagonism between the two".

Friday, August 23, 2013

Madras Café recreates the history by touching upon Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination

John Abraham is very much happy to produce Madras Café in which he is playing an Intelligence officer. The film depicts the political scenario in early 1990s in the state of Tamil Nadu thus, during the time when then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. A character who looks like Rajiv Gandhi present in the film showcasing the brutal murder of then Indian Prime Minister has caused for some debates in the film world and politics.

The film is set in the early 1990s, around the time of Rajiv Gandhi's assassination. It was insinuated that the LTTE had a hand in the slaying of the Indian Prime Minister on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu and the film is based against this backdrop. What has really become the talking point is the likeness of the actor who plays Rajiv Gandhi in the film. One can clearly see the resemblance the actor bears to the political leader.  In waiving the crowd, the dress with a tri-colour shawl around the neck, the type of watch worn – all have got tremendous similarity with Rajiv Gandhi. Further the character who plays the main villain character is almost look like V Prabhakaran – the killed LTTE chief. 

LTTE has been under scanner behind the killing of Rajiv Gandhi. Madras Café recreates the history by touching upon Rajiv Gandhi’s subject. John said, “Madras Café is a revision for those who know what had happened, through our eyes but most importantly, it is for our youth who is unaware of the Indian politics of early 90s. This film aims at enlightening their knowledge in an entertaining way.” “Though I am apolitical, I've been there and seen it all. The story of the assassination (of Rajiv Gandhi) stayed with me. When Shoojit (director) offered Madras Cafe to me 7 years ago I said, 'Wow! Someone actually wants to do this. So let's do it” he added.

"Moving to see "Madras Cafe" on Rajiv Gandhi's birthday. Strong second half, fast-paced film. Outstanding direction & acting, especially by John Abraham” said Union Minister Shashi Tharoor.

Sircar, the director of the movie said: "This is not a biopic on Rajiv Gandhi this is not a story based on him. Yes, you can say that there is a similarity to that incident. There is a similarity in the facial structure (of the actor who plays the said role)." However, the director clarified, "We have taken that incident which we read in the paper. Rest, whatever is around it, has been fictionalised in the scripting. But somewhere you may find some historical references in the fictionalised bit too”.

Madras Café also stars Nargis Fakhri in the lead role as an International journalist. The film directed by Shoojit Sircar is released on Friday, August 23.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sonia Gandhi at Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana award function

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Renowned Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan has been honoured with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavna Award for 2012 in New Delhi on Tuesday on the occasion of the 69th birth anniversary of late Rajiv Gandhi. He was honoured for his immense contribution in promoting communal harmony, peace and goodwill. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Congress leader Karan Singh were also present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Sonia Gandhi said a divided society cannot progress with all its strength. "The founders of our country implemented this in their lives. Soon after Independence, Gandhiji and later Indiraji and Rajivji paid the price for this. These are not simple episodes of history. This will always be imbibed in the history of new India and continue to provide light to the society. Lamp gives light by burning itself," she said.

Sonia Gandhi distributes food security ration cards to beneficiaries in Delhi

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched the Central government's historic Food Security Scheme in New Delhi on Tuesday. The launch of the programme coincides with the birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Our duty is to serve the people and this should continue to be our motto always. Renewing this pledge will be the best ever tribute to Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary" concluded the Congress President. Sonia Gandhi She gave away food security ration cards to beneficiaries along with a 5 kg packet of rice.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sonia Gandhi at Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana award function: A divided society cannot progress:

Renowned Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan has been honoured with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavna Award for 2012 in New Delhi on Tuesday on the occasion of the 69th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi. Khan was honoured for his immense contribution in promoting communal harmony, peace and goodwill. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Congress leader Karan Singh were also present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Sonia Gandhi said a divided society cannot progress with all its strength.

On Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary, Sonia Gandhi launches Food Security Scheme in Delhi

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched the Central government’s historic Food Security Scheme in New Delhi on Tuesday. The launch of the programme coincides with the birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

 While addressing a huge gathering at Delhi’s Talkatora Indoor stadium, the Congress President assured that UPA Government would ensure that the right people get the benefits and that there are no flaws in the distribution process.
"The guarantee of food provided by food security scheme on such a large scale is unparalleled in the world," said Sonia Gandhi adding, “The nation still has people who don't get food to eat, and added that children suffer from malnutrition. “We have people who still don't get food and there are children who are malnourished. We decided to bring this scheme so that every poor gets food and no child sleeps without food," said the UPA Chairperson.

“We know that there are short-comings in the existing PDS system and hence, the focus of the new Food Security Bill is to reform the PDS system so that the benefits reach more people and there is no scope for any corruption and malpractices. Through Aadhar we will ensure that there is no scope for corruption in the Food Security scheme” assured Sonia Gandhi.

The Congress President also informed that two third of the population will be legally entitled to receive highly subsidized food grains. “About 80 crore people will be benfitted by this landmark scheme. 75% of the people in the rural areas and 50% in the urban areas will have the benefit of this scheme. This scheme ensures legally, nutritious meals to pregnant women,” said Sonia Gandhi.
Sonia Gandhi praised Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for her efforts for implementing the scheme and also for transforming the infrastructure in the national capital, saying that Delhi is no longer the same as it used to be 15 years ago.

“Our duty is to serve the people and this should continue to be our motto always. Renewing this pledge will be the best ever tribute to Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary” concluded the Congress President. Sonia Gandhi She gave away food security ration cards to beneficiaries along with a 5 kg packet of rice.

The National Food Security Bill is a historic initiative for ensuring food and nutritional security to the people. It gives a right to the people to receive adequate quantity of foodgrains at affordable prices. The Bill has a special focus on nutritional support to the poorest of the poor, women and children. In case of non-supply of foodgrains, the deprived will get a food security allowance.

Full text of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi’s speech

Today is the birth anniversary of Sh. Rajiv Gandhi. He had a dream; he had vision; he had an aim – a strong, happy and modern India.  He had, therefore, travelled across the country, visited every nook and corner and interacted with the poor people to closely understand their problems. Throughout his life, he put in all possible efforts to bring in positive changes in the lives of the poor. His farsighted vision for nation building and for the welfare of common people will continue to inspire us.

The UPA Government at the centre has been trying its level best to fulfil the dreams of Rajiv Gandhi by adopting various measures to bring revolutionary changes in the lives of the common man. The central government has taken various steps for the upliftment and welfare of every section of the people across the country.  Many state governments have implemented the Central polices promptly and effectively and as a result the benefits could reach the people and it helped my brothers and sisters there to be confident and self reliant.

We know that there is no end and we should continue with our good works. Our country still has people who don't get food to eat and there are children who are malnourished. We decided to bring this scheme so that every poor gets food, no child sleeps without food and no one should suffer from malnutrition.

The guarantee of food provided by food security scheme on such a large scale is unparalleled in the world. Two third of the population will be legally entitled to receive highly subsidized food grains. About 80 crore people will be benfitted by this landmark scheme. 75% of the people in the rural areas and 50% in the urban areas can avail the benefit of this scheme. This scheme ensures legally, nutritious meals to pregnant women.

We know that there are short-comings in the existing PDS system and hence, the focus of the new Food Security Bill is to reform the PDS system so that the benefits reach to more people and there is no scope for any corruption and malpractices. Through Aadhar we will ensure that there is no scope for corruption in the Food Security scheme.

I am very happy for the fact that the responsibility to effectively run the PDS has been given to Self Help Groups of women and Gram Panchayats. I am confident that this move will help my sisters to become more self-reliant, confident and will ensure them more respect in the society.

I am also happy that Delhi Government is launching the historic Food Security scheme today. And the beneficiaries in Delhi will start availing subsidized food grains under this scheme from Sept 1. I am confident that the Delhi government will be successful in the effective and proper implementation of this scheme.

Friends, you have witnessed how Chief Minister Sheila Dixit and her colleagues changed the face of Delhi in a commendable manner in the past 15 years. What was Delhi before 15 years and now what is the situation, anyone can compare. Her government has implemented various schemes and policies which transformed the life of the people; The Metro – the life line of Delhi – has been attracting the attention and appreciation of everyone who comes to Delhi. Further the Congress government in Delhi has always felt the pain of the common man and also has taken various steps to solve their problems.  We can proudly claim that the revolutionary changes that took place in Delhi are unparalleled. 

Finally, I take this opportunity to congratulate Sheila Dixit and her colleagues and all her staff for implementing various pro-poor measures in Delhi and specially for launching this Food Security scheme and I also hope that her government will continue with her good works.

Our duty is to serve the people and this should continue to be our motto always. Renewing this pledge will be the best ever tribute to Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary.

Sonia Gandhi launches Food Security Scheme in Delhi on Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary

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New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched the Central government’s historic Food Security Scheme in New Delhi on Tuesday. The launch of the programme coincides with the birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. While addressing a huge gathering at Delhi’s Talkatora Indoor stadium, the Congress President assured that UPA Government would ensure that the right people get the benefits and that there are no flaws in the distribution process

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nation remembers Rajiv Gandhi on 69th birth anniversary

New Delhi: India on Tuesday remembered former Prime Minister and legendary Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi on his 69th birth anniversary. President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rajiv Gandhi’s wife and Congress President Sonia Gandhi paid floral tributes to the departed leader.

Apart from Sonia Gandhi, her son and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra and Priyanka Gandhi’s daughter Sonia Gandhi's grand daughter Miraya also laid flowers at the samadhi.

Devotional music played throughout the programme. Scores of National Students Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of Congress, members were also present on the occasion. A group of Congress workers, mostly from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, who were part of the Sadbhavna Yatra to spread the message of national harmony and integration against terrorism, were also present at Vir Bhumi.

Rajiv Gandhi, who heralded the information and communication technology revolution in the country, was born on August 20, 1944 and served as the sixth Prime Minister of India from 1984-1989. He was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu while addressing an election campaign.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi launches Food Security Scheme in Delhi

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched the Central government’s historic Food Security Scheme in New Delhi on Tuesday. The launch of the programme coincides with the birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. While addressing a huge gathering at Delhi’s Talkatora Indoor stadium, the Congress President assured that UPA Government would ensure that the right people get the benefits and that there are no flaws in the distribution process.

Nation remembers the visionary Rajiv Gandhi on his 69th birth anniversary

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Today is the 69th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Rajiv Gandhi. The nation paid its tribute to the great visionary with a series of programmes planned throughout the nation to commemorate the day. Early morning ,Congress President Sonia Gandhi along with her son and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi , Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Robert Vadra reached Veer bhoomi , the memorial of Late Rajiv Gandhi and paid their tributes. Several other leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were also present at Veer bhoomi to remember Rajiv Gandhi and pay their tributes.

Remembering great visionary Rajiv Gandhi on his 69th birth anniversary

Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister and a legendary Congress leader who is known as the creator of ‘modern India’, was one of the most visionary leaders of post-independence India. His insights and initiatives into liberalization of Indian economy, technological advancement and most importantly bringing the computer revolution in India, made him a futuristic leader of his times.  India went through a lot of changes under Rajiv Gandhi’s leadership.

Rajiv Gandhi’s personality and leadership brought in a high level of dynamism in India’s foreign relations. He also left his own personal mark on India’s foreign policy. Rajiv Gandhi was a humble and polite leader as well as an extremely ambitious and dynamic Prime Minister. His mature and effective leadership and initiative led India to become one of the leading markets in telecommunication and Information technology.

Rajiv Gandhi created a separate identity for himself and he also was successful in taking forward Indira Gandhi and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru’s initiatives as well.  He scripted a new vision for the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) - Nuclear disarmament.  He was a great believer of peace and this belief propelled him to propose the idea of disarmament.  He championed the cause of NAM, which he saw as a very important pedestal to facilitating peaceful relations between nations. He realized the futility of spending millions on arms and ammunition, and the wild pursuit of arms race, when a huge section of the population was starving.
Rajiv Gandhi played a vital role to improve the bilateral relationships with the United States of America and subsequently expanded the economic and scientific cooperation with it. A revived foreign policy, emphasizing on the economic liberalization and information and technology helped India to find a mark in the global map.

Under his tenure as the Prime Minister, India also took up the cause of fighting against apartheid in South Africa. India’s role is considered instrumental in establishing the South Africa Fund under the cause of Non-Alignment Movement and thus provided support for many South African countries in their struggle for independence through this fund. Rajiv Gandhi’s farsighted initiative also resulted into formation of G15 countries for promotion of the non-alignment movement further enhancing and encouraging South-South cooperation and facilitating a collective dialogue of the South countries with the industrialized nation-states.

Rajiv Gandhi was instrumental in modernizing the Indian armed forces. India developed missiles like Prithvi, Trishul, Agni, etc. during his leadership. The defense spending was one fifth of the total government expenditure. He helped India enhance her image and stature in world politics. India’s standing in the world had improved a great deal the only unresolved issue was that of SriLanka for which he lost his life.

Rajiv Gandhi government took vigorous measures to reform the government bureaucracy and liberalize the country's economy. He is credited with promoting the introduction of computers in India. The economic policies adopted by Rajiv Gandhi were different from his precursors. His government’s measures to reduce the "Red Tapism" were remarkable. In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi announced a "national education policy" to modernize and expand higher education programs across India. Rajiv Gandhi brought a revolution in the field of information technology and telecom. The idea helped in originating the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, popularly known as MTNL. He was the man to transcend telecom services to the rural India or "India in true sense". Rajiv Gandhi introduced India to modern science and technology, which he considered as the very essence of development. He said, 'Freedom and racism cannot co-exist. Science and poverty cannot co-exist.'

Rajiv Gandhi laid great emphasis on the green revolution which he looked upon as being extremely important for agricultural development. He spoke ardently about social justice. For him, equality among people was extremely important, because a society ridden with class and caste distinction was a hindrance to development.

Rajiv Gandhi was posthumously awarded the Highest National Award of India, Bharat Ratna 1991.

Rajiv Gandhi remembered on his 69th birth anniversary

Today is the 69th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Rajiv Gandhi. The nation paid its tribute to the great visionary with a series of programmes planned throughout the nation to commemorate the day. Early morning ,Congress President Sonia Gandhi along with her son and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi , Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Robert Vadra reached Veer bhoomi , the memorial of Late Rajiv Gandhi and paid their tributes. Several other leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were also present at Veer bhoomi to remember Rajiv Gandhi and pay their tributes.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Remembering Rajiv Gandhi on his 69th birth anniversary

August 20 is the birth anniversary of Sh. Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister and a legendary Congress leader who is known as the creator of 'modern India'. He was one of the most visionary leaders of post-independence India. His insights and initiatives into liberalization of Indian economy, technological advancement and most importantly bringing the computer revolution in India, made him a futuristic leader of his times. India went through a lot of changes under Rajiv Gandhi's leadership.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sonia Gandhi greets Parsis on their new year

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Sunday – Aug 18th- greeted the Parsis on the occasion of their New Year 'Navroz', hoping that the festival would strengthen the bonds of love and compassion among the countrymen.

"I express hope that the festival of Navroz would strengthen the bonds of love and compassion among our countrymen and bring peace, prosperity and happiness all around," said Sonia Gandhi in her message.

The President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister had also yesterday extended their greetings to the Parsis on the occasion.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi hoists tricolour at party headquarters

New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi hoisted the tricolour at party headquarters on the occasion of country’s 67th Independence day. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and senior ministers and party leaders also attended the event.

Sonia Gandhi distributes sweets among children on the occasion. "Today I will only say Happy Independence Day to all of you," the Congress President told the media persons.

Union Ministers A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Salman Khurshid and senior leaders Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni and Janardan Dwivedi were among others present on the occasion.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rahul Gandhi wants more women participation for proper development

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi who visited his parliamentary constituency Amethi on Wednesday said that development in the country cannot be imagined without participation of women. Rahul Gandhi in Amethi took part in a women self-help group programme.

 "Bringing about a change in the country and its development cannot be imagined without participation of women," Rahul Gandhi said. On his way to Jais to attend the programme, the Congress MP took a brief halt at Akelwa crossing and listened to the grievances of a group 40 women. The women complained about local issues and rising prices of food items. They also demanded a halt of passenger trains in Akelwa area and construction of roads.

Later, while addressing a two-day training camp of about 200 women participants, Rahul Gandhi stressed on linking more and more women with the self-help groups. He stressed that "development of the country and brining about a change could not be thought without the participation of women."

"The main aim is to make women self reliant for which continued efforts are being made through the 'Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana' and the results are good," said the Congress Vice President.  Rahul Gandhi added that women will have to come forward for the development of the country and society.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rahul Gandhi visits Amethi; attends meeting of SHG workers

Congress Vice President and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday visited his Parliamentary constituency Amethi and attended a meeting of the Self Help Group workers. He has been constantly visiting Amethi and monitoring the progress of development works in the region. Recently, he had visited Amethi with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also and had interacted with Congress leaders and works.

Sonia Gandhi hoists flag at AICC office on Independence day

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi hoisted flag at AICC office Akbar road ,New Delhi to mark the occassion of country's 67th independence day. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi ,Dr. Manmohan Singh and Several senior leaders of the Congress attended the function.

Sonia Gandhi at Independence day function at AICC office, New Delhi

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Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi hoisted flag at AICC office Akbar road ,New Delhi to mark the occassion of country’s 67th independence day. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi ,Dr. Manmohan Singh and Several senior leaders of the Congress attended the function.

Priyanka Gandhi easily strikes chord with common people

Congress party is blessed with great mass leaders in party president Sonia Gandhi, vice President Rahul Gandhi and Congress star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. All these leaders have a special ability to easily strike chord with the common people. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during her campaign in Raebareli, has proved that she has a great ability to easily win the hearts of the people.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Congress to follow Priyanka Gandhi's formula to form district, city committees

The innovative formula of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and sister of party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, tasted success in stemming the factionalism and strengthening the party base in Raebareli and Amethi and now the Congress party is replicating it in all the other districts in Uttar Pradesh.

Priyanka Gandhi had evolved the new strategy for formation of district and city committees and implemented it in Raebareli, the Lok Sabha constituency of her mother Sonia Gandhi, and later in Amethi, Rahul Gandhi's parliament constituency.

Under the system, the bio-data of the interested Congress workers are sought in a set format and then interviews are held. A party worker is selected to a committee, till block level, based on the information in the bio-data and the interview. Now, all of UP has been divided into four parts each headed by four AICC secretaries in charge of state —- Naseeb Singh, Prakash Joshi, Rana Goswami and Zubair Khan. They have already started holding interviews in districts to finalise the district and city committees.

During the Congress party's last re-organisation, district and city presidents were elected and given free hand to select the 35-member committee, comprising seven vice-presidents, 10 general secretaries, 16 secretaries and a registrar apart from the president.

Wth this system the party leadership is being able to meet majority of the active and prominent workers in the district and listen to their grievances as well. The interviews are being conducted at the district level in the presence of newly-appointed district and city presidents, concerned zonal presidents, co-ordinators and AICC secretary in-charge of the district. The names finalised are sent to state party president for approval. All zonal heads and AICC secretaries have been asked to finalise the district and city committees by August 25.

Charismatic Congress leaders -- Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi

Congress party is blessed with great mass leaders in party president Sonia Gandhi, vice President Rahul Gandhi and Congress star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. All these leaders have a special ability to easily strike chord with the common people.

For Rahul Gandhi development means welfare of the poor

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi always believed that every political leader should go to the poor, listen to them and must try to help them in crisis. "Every political leader should set aside their dreams, and must try to convert poor man's dream into reality" said Rahul Gandhi on several occasions.

Rahul Gandhi: Helping the poor is the greatest service

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi always believed that every political leader should go to the poor, listen to them and must try to help them in crisis. "Every political leader should set aside their dreams, and must try to convert poor man's dream into reality" said Rahul Gandhi on several occasions.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Amethi developing fast due to Rahul Gandhi's initiatives

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is putting his maximum efforts to strengthen Congress party. He has been travelling across the country, meets Congress workers, interact with them and gather information about the problems in the organisation. The Congress party has got a new energy after Rahul Gandhi took over as party Vice President.

For Rahul Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi Ji is the model

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is putting his maximum efforts to strengthen Congress party. He has been travelling across the country, meets Congress workers, interact with them and gather information about the problems in the organisation. Rahul Gandhi said ion many occasions "Gandhi ji is my role model in politics".

Rahul Gandhi's mission is to empower the youth

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is putting his maximum efforts to strengthen Congress party. He has been travelling across the country, meets Congress workers, interact with them and gather information about the problems in the organisation. The Congress party has got a new energy after Rahul Gandhi took over as party Vice President.

Congress to organise work shop on social media; Rahul Gandhi to attend

New Delhi: In a bid to explore the benefits of social media, Congress party is organising a workshop dedicated to the social media on August 23 and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi will address the same.

Earlier on July 22 and 23, Congress had organised a two-day media session to tone up the party's communication strategy and to institutionalise a framework for it in all states ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

There is a realization in Congress that party should counter the social media campaign being done by BJP and its campaign-in-charge Narendra Modi.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Priyanka Gandhi -- a natural mass leader

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and sister of party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, has a special ability to attract people's attention and love wherever she goes. This was evident when she campaigned in Raebareli, the constituency of Sonia Gandhi.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra -- energetic and charismatic Congress campaigner

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and sister of party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, has a special ability to attract people's attention and love wherever she goes. This was evident when she campaigned in Raebareli, the constituency of Sonia Gandhi.

Congress gets new energy after Rahul Gandhi took over as party Vice President

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is putting his maximum efforts to strengthen Congress party. He has been travelling across the country, meets Congress workers, interact with them and gather information about the problems in the organisation. The Congress party has got a new energy after Rahul Gandhi took over as party Vice President.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sonia Gandhi extends warm greetings on Eid-al-Fitr

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday greeted the nation on the occasion of Eid-al-Fitr by saying that the festival reminds people of virtues of harmonious co-existence and mutual respect for each other's faith.

Conveying her greetings and good wishes, Sonia Gandhi said Eid follows a month of fasting in which the essentials of faith are rejuvenated touching Islam's message of peace and fraternity amongst all mankind.

“‘Eid’ follows a month of fasting in which the essentials of faith are rejuvenated touching Islam’s message of peace and fraternity amongst all mankind. The festival reminds us of the virtues of harmonious co-existence and mutual respect for each other’s faith in a multi religious and diversified society like ours” says her message.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also greeted the nation on the occasion and hoped the festival will instill a sense of unity among all faiths and pride in the composite culture of country.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sonia Gandhi on Indian soldiers killing: India could not be cowed down by such blatant acts of deceit

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has condemned the killing of five Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district. The Congress president issued a statement asserted that India can't be cowed down by such blatant attack and extended her condolences. She also urged the government to take appropriate steps.. 

“Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi has expressed deep grief and shock at the deceitful killing of 5 Indian solders by Pakistan at the LoC in Jammu & Kashmir. Extending heartfelt condolences to the family of the martyred soldiers she said that the entire congress party as indeed the entire country stands by them. She said that the Indian nation could not be cowed down by such blatant acts of deceit and urged the Government of India to take up appropriate measures”, said the statement issued by AICC.

Rahul Gandhi: Self-confidence is the key to overcome poverty

Congress Vice President and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi praised the role of self-help groups in advancement of marginalised section of society on Monday and also said they provide the poor with self-confidence to overcome poverty.

Rahul Gandhi expressed this opinion while participating in a discourse on 'Culture, Deepening Democracy and Most Marginalised Communities', organised here by noted social scientist Badri Narayan. "I understand the weaknesses of our system. I will try my best to help the people but unless and until the voice of the marginalised comes out from within, nothing can be done," Narayan quoted Gandhi as having said at the event which was organised at the GB Pant Social Science Institute on the outskirts of the city.

"Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty," he said. Rahul Gandhi also cited the example of a poor woman in Amethi, who redeemed her self-esteem by getting associated with self-help group Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana.

The Congress MP from Amethi, who was accompanied by the party's national general secretary Madhusudan Mistry, also interacted with people from remote villages of Allahabad and other neighbouring districts. "My one and only political aim is that I want to tune my ears to the voice of the poor and the marginalised", assured Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi opens indoor facility at Kamla Nehru Memorial hospital

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Allahabad: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi inaugurated a 20-bed indoor facility at Kamla Nehru Memorial Rural Hospital at Newada Samogarh in Naini on Monday. The Congress MP from Amethi is also the trustee of Kamla Nehru Memorial Hospital. He would be accompanied by Congress MP Murli Deora. Rahul Gandhi also attended a sapling plantation programme and thereafter inaugurated the indoor facility and distributed prizes to students and field workers. Rahul Gandhi also handed over keys of two vehicles to the hospital for rural health coverage and released the annual book of the hospital. He would also meet public representatives.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rahul Gandhi: Biggest cause of poverty in India is costly medical facilities

Allahabad: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi inaugurated a hospital here named after his great grandmother, Kamala Nehru, wife of the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, on Monday. The Congress MP from Amethi, said, "biggest cause of poverty in India is costly medical facilities which eat into a common man's savings leaving him penniless." Speaking at the inaugural function of 20-bed indoor hospital, which is the rural branch of Kamla Nehru Memorial Hospital on Monday, Rahul Gandhi also posed a question on the reasons behind poverty in India before proceeding to answer the same as per his own interpretation.

Rahul Gandhi also drew a comparison between the level of treatment which his relative Arun Nehru, who died few days back, received at a multi-speciality hospital in New Delhi which boasts of five star facilities charging astronomical sums running into several lakhs as room rent per day. The rooms are sparkling while the equipments used are state of art. However, a common man cannot even dream of availing such facilities.

Citing an example of a labourer whom he met few months back, he said, "the person in question, in an effort to bear the costly treatment of his family member, toiled hard for three months at a stretch and thereafter, utilised the savings to bear the costly treatment. This is pathetic and needs to be addressed on priority basis." Accepting that providing medical facilities to countryside folks is a herculean task, he said, "I am besieged by residents from my parliamentary constituency of Amethi with each having his own woes related to health, be it cancer, hole in the heart or any other similar ailment which demands treatment at a premier medical hospital."

Issuing a word of advice for doctors present at the venue, Rahul exhorted them to serve those living in villages and remote corners of the country and shun the comforts of big cities and fat pay package of big hospitals. Welcoming the chief guest, chief executive officer, Kamla Nehru Memorial hospital, Madhu Chandra said it is like homecoming for Rahul Gandhi who has always supported the hospital with best possible assistance." It was set up in 1987 at the initiative of the then prime minister, late Rajiv Gandhi at Newada Samogarh, Naini to provide free medical treatment to rural folks. The new 20-bed wing would run as an indoor facility. The hospital has also adopted five villages in the vicinity.

Senior physician, Dr Kavita Agarwal threw light on the activities of the hospital since last one year wherein it organised 27 camps in the rural areas and provided treatment to 1,819 patients. Later on, Rahul distributed mementoes to field workers and handed over medals to meritorious children of class 3 and 4 employees of the hospital.

The Kamla Nehru memorial medal for outstanding performance in the department of Gynaecology and Obstetrician at Motial Nehru Medical College was awarded to Dr Geetanjali Sharma. On this occasion, oath was also administered to newly inducted para-medical staff.