In an address to the ongoing 85th Congress plenary session here, senior leader Sonia Gandhi said the party's victories in 2004 and 2009 along with the able leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh "gave me personal satisfaction but what gratifies me most is that my innings could conclude with the Bharat Jodo Yatra".
She said that the yatra has come as a turning point for Congress and proved that the people of India overwhelmingly want harmony, tolerance and equality.
"It (Yatra) has renewed the rich legacy of dialogue between our party and the public through mass contact program. It has shown us that the Congress stands with the people and is ready to fight for them," she said while congratulating party workers for making the mega walkathon a success.
Sonia Gandhi thanked all leaders, and the people of the country for participation in the yatra as well as for their love and the support.
"I especially thank Rahul ji whose determination and leadership was crucial in the Yatra's success."
The senior leader said that this was the particularly challenging time for Congress and the country as the whole.
"Prime minister Narendra Modi, and BJP-RSS regime has relentlessly captured every single institution of the country. It ruthlessly silenced any voice of opposition. It caused economic ruin by favouring a few chosen businessmen at the expense of the people. And most distressingly, it fuelled the fire of fear and hatred against the fellow Indians.
"It targeted minorities and ignited and discrimination against them, women, Dalit and Adivasis. It mocked Gandhi Ji and through it's action and words shows contempt for the values of our Constitution.
"In many ways, the situation today reminds me of time when I first entered into the politics when as now we faced the difficult struggle ahead. And the crucial times teach one of us that there is special responsibility towards our part and the country.
"Congress is not just a party, we are the vehicle through which the people of India fight for liberty, equality, fraternity and the justice for all," she added.
Addressing the session, Sonia Gandhi further said that "we must tackle the regime with boldness and vigor and stand side by side with the people it attacks. We must reach out to people and convey our message with clarity and cohesion".
She asked party leaders to put aside personal expectations and make sacrifices and work with unity.
"Today let us remind ourselves of the battle our part has won in the past and prepare ourselves for the battle to come. Let us remember that the victory for the party is victory for the country and for each one of us."
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First Published: Feb 25 2023 | 5:01 PM IST