Sonia hard sells stability plank
Bares fang against BJP, Samata Party, Nehru reference thrills crowd

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 09: AICC president and unarguably the biggest crowd puller of the oldest political party in the country, Sonia Gandhi today promised that her party will work towards restoring: the 'lost glory' of Manipur by ushering in a new culture of governance and politics in the State after the 8th Assembly election.

Addressing an enthusiastic crowd at Mapal Kangjeibung the Congress supremo said that Manipur was destroyed by unstable Governments formed by non Congress parties.

Dressed in a Mayek Naibi Phanek, Sonia said, 'what Manipur needs today is a stable Government and only the Congress can assure this.' Playing to the gallery Sonia Gandhi said that Manipur has been part and parcel of her family since the days of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Not surprisingly this drew a round of applause from the crowd who had gathered to hear and see the Congress president.

Launching a frontal attack on the BJP and Samata, Sonia said that these parties had sold themselves to the interest of militants and alleged that BJP and Samata had tried to stop her from campaigning here.

On the territorial integrity of Manipur, the Congress chief made it amply clear that her party is solidly behind protecting the territorial boundary of Manipur and reminded all of the stand taken by the AICC when the Bangkok agreement was announced on June 14 last year.

Sonia Gandhi spoke for about 10 minutes in English and followed this up with impeccable Hindi.

Congress leaders including Mani Shankar Aiyer and Ambika Soni shared the podium with Sonia Gandhi.

Earlier in the day another election meeting was held at Kodompokpi Basu ground in Thoubal district.

Speaking at .the meeting Sonia said the boycott accorded to her visit by an underground outfit is not because they have any grudges against the Congress but hinted that the BJP and the Samata may be behind it.

She reminded the gathering that President's Rule was imposed when there was only a lone Congress Opposition in the Assembly and the State was under a coalition Government headed by the Samata and BJP.

Internecine bickering between the BJP and Samata led to instability in the State, she further said.

The Congress had strongly opposed the cease fire extension agreement reached between the NSCN (IM) and the Centre in the June 14 Bangkok agreement, last year, Sonia maintained.

Congress has been protecting and respecting the territorial integrity of Manipur for the last 30 years, she said.

On the problems of militancy, Sonia Gandhi said that it can be solved when matters are thrashed out at the negotiating table.

The Congress president also praised the good works taken up by women folks and meira paibis to combat social evils.

Coming down heavily on non Congress Governments in the last five years, Sonia said funds for development have been misused and what Manipur is seeing today is the result of faulty policies adopted by non Congress parties.