Jaipur: The draft Congress Jaipur declaration, which was released on the last day of chintan shivir at Jaipur on Sunday, has called on all secular and progressive forces to unite in ideological battle against those who polarise and divide society.
The draft declaration says that the Congress would fight elections on the basis of secularism, nationalism, social justice and economic growth.
It further says that the Congress will go to the people on the basis of performance of UPA govt, the promise of stability and good governance and restatement of its core values.
The document, the finalised version of which is expected in a short while from now according to Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi, further says that the Congress acknowledges that there is a rising educated and aspirational middle class, especially in urban areas and the party will strive to create new opportunities for them.
On ties with Pakistan, the draft Congress document says dialogue with Pakistan must be based on accepted principles of civilised behaviour, and when these principles are violated, India should not hesitate to take credible action.
Earlier, Congress president Sonia Gandhi outlined the road ahead for the party.
Expressing happiness at the large participation of youth leaders, she said it was a positive sign for the party.
Gandhi also said the party should deal with corruption effectively.
She said: "Corruption is a deep-seated malaise. We are resolved to fight against it. That is why we have passed the Lokpal Bill in the last Lok Sabha session. We have introduced the 'aapka paisa, aapke haath' direct cash transfer scheme to weed out middle-men from the system."
She also emphasised that the government will make the process of 'allocation of natural resources' far more transparent. With the coal block and 2G blot starting to dig the party's grave, it was but natural that the chief tries of make a last ditch attempt at saving Congress from it.
She stressed the need for electoral reforms.
Speaking in defence of the need to introduce foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail and the need for hiking prices of some essential commodities, she said: "When the rest of the world was reeling under the economic slowdown, India was hardly affected. To make sure that the safeguards to our economy remain intact, we have had to take some difficult decisions. They might cause some temporary hardships to people, but will be rewarding for all in the long run."
summing up the outcomes of the Chintan Shivir meet, the Congress president said that it was time to look inwards and reflect on the party and its principles.
She admitted that there was a pressing need to win back people's faith in the government, thereby acknowledging the growing public dissent that the party is up against.
Sonia Gandhi also express concern about the structure of her own party and said that it was time for some reflection.
"Nepotism in the organisation's structure is a cause of concern. When leaders recommend a candidate they must be willing to take responsibility in case of failure," she said.