Sonia instils confidence among workers in poll-bound states

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (UNI) In a bid to gear up the party cadres in the election-bound states, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has expressed disappointment over the defeats in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, but said "electoral setbacks do not mean the defeat of our ideals and principles." "The recent election results were disappointing...We have sought to understand this and see what lessons these results hold for us.

However, we must not allow these disappointments to divert us from our larger goal of continuing to fulfil the mandate we have and to serve the interest of people," she said in her letter to Congress workers published in the latest issue of the party's mouthpiece "Congress Sandesh." Ms Gandhi told the party workers that the fight against the lies and the divisive agenda of the BJP would continue. "This fight does not end with winning or losing elections. Instead, it becomes more important." Underlining the importance of the year 2008 when elections are scheduled in a number of states, she called upon the party workers to come together and work unitedly with a strong sense of team spirit.

She said the party chief minisiters should work in tandem with the party presidents in states where the Congress was in power. Party Presidents and workers must disseminate the good work done by the party governments.

They must, however, identify with the people, help and expose the misdeed of those in power in states where the party was not in government.

Regretting that the UPA's flagship programmes such as NREGA had not been systematically implemented across the states, Ms Gandhi said party cadres must come forward and work with NGOs involved in the sector to weed out corruption and mismanagement.

"Our party cadre needs to turn itself into an engine for social change. They must be at the forefront in reaching out to the people in their districts to listen to their needs." The Congress President reminded the workers that humanism and inclusive development would continue to be the guiding principles of the party.

"We will not and must not discriminate against any community on the basis of caste, religion or region. Instead, we must oppose such discrimination wherever we meet with it. The belief that we are all human beings first is what distinguishes our party from others," she said, concluding the one-page letter.

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