Coalition, a tightrope walk : Sonia

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New Delhi, Nov 17 (UNI) Asserting that the Party would continue to adhere to 'coalition dharma,' Congress President Sonia Gandhi today asked the allies to extend ''constructive cooperation'' in the running of the UPA coalition government at the Centre, while making it clear to partymen that working in coalition did not mean the Congress would lose its political space.

Pledging to restore the political glory of the country's oldest party, Ms Gandhi admitted that running a coalition amounted to a tightrope walk, besides being a political challenge.

''I candidly admit before you that running a coalition is a balancing act and a political challenge. But this is my definitive view that the Congress must strive to regain its pre-eminent political position as enjoyed in the past,'' Ms Gandhi said while addressing the day-long AICC session here.

Her remarks came against the backdrop of the recent pulls and pressures exerted on the government by the allies and supporting Left parties on various contentious issues, including the nuclear deal and the Sethusamudram project.

Ms Gandhi, whose party is experimenting with running a coalition government at the Centre for the first time, said the Congress is the only party whose presence is clearly felt throughout the length and breadth of the country.

Setting at rest speculation that the UPA coalition might not last its full term due to differences among the allies, the Congress President said : ''Hum UPA ko poore taal mal ke saath chalane ke liye driditha se prathibadhya hain (We are fully committed to running the UPA coalition with harmony and coordination.'' She also said the Congress has received support from all sections and classes in a plural society.

''This is not a vote of politics for us. It is rather the crux of our ideals,'' she said. adding that the Congress was the lone party which combined secular values with expeditious and equitable economic growth.

Pointing out that the momentum of economic growth could not be sustained without social justice and harmony, Ms Gandhi said the Congress forthrightly rejected the politics which created a dichotomy between economic growth and social equity.


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