Speaking at a rally in Shastri Park in East Delhi, Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi gave a dignified response to the aggressive vilification campaign being done by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Aam Aadmi Party against the Congress in the ongoing Vidhan Sabha elections in Delhi. Without even mentioning either of the two parties, Smt. Gandhi questioned the very basis of their allegations.
"You can win power by misleading people, but without a desire to serve, without compassion, you can never win the people's hearts," Smt. Gandhi told the Opposition parties.
She said that Congress was not new to vilification. Since Independence, its opponents have tried to malign the party which had won freedom for India.
"The opponents of Congress have consistently raised mindless allegations against Congress, right from Independence. They didn't spare Mahatma Gandhi, they did not spare Nehru ji even though he placed India on the path of progress and became the gem of the people's hearts (Dilo Ke Jawahar). They did not spare Indira ji even though she fought for the welfare of the poor, the disempowered and the progress of the last person. She worked for the respect of India at the international sphere. It was through her efforts that India could keep its held high.
But it is due to the destructive ideas of our opponents, that Indira ji and Rajiv ji had to sacrifice their lives. These are people who didn't spare the great architects of the nation, so how can they spare us, Dr Manmohan Singh and Sheila ji (Smt. Sheila Dikshit)," Smt. Gandhi said.
"Like you I am a resident of Delhi. We are witness to the transformation that has taken place in the last 15 years. But the Opposition has closed its eyes with a blindfold," she said at the beginning of her speech.
Smt. Gandhi highlighted the achievements of the Congress government in Delhi. "Sheila ji's government has changed the face of Delhi. Naysayers said that Metro will not be successful in Delhi. Now our Metro is famous in the world," she said.
The Delhi government, in Smt. Gandhi's opinion, has presented an excellent example of inclusive governance which is a core belief of the Congress.
"We have worked for the welfare of the poor, the disempowered, especially my beloved sisters. They have been empowered and now they work for the glory of Delhi and India," she said.
The Opposition, however, remains oblivious to this transformation.
"Our opponents don't want to see our achievements. Irrespective of whether they see or not, believe or not, the people of Delhi know that Delhi has transformed in the last 15 years," the Congress President said.
The credit for Delhi's success, in Smt. Gandhi's opinion, must go to the Bhagidari or partnership between the government and citizens of Delhi.
"This has been successful because of the partnership between the government and people of Delhi. This isn't visible to those who care only about their own interests and not the welfare of the people," she said.
Smt. Gandhi attacked the Opposition parties for trying to incite disharmony and create confusion.
"There are people who try to spread poison through their thoughts and words. The principal opposition party of course is responsible for this but there are some others also," she said, referring to the BJP.
She also appeared to attack the Aam Aadmi Party though she didn't call the neophyte party by name.
"We must ask such people what their beliefs are. Without proper beliefs, there can't be proper actions. There can't be a commitment to progress," she said.
She expressed faith in the judgement of the people who, according to her are wise and can differentiate truth from the hype created by the Opposition.
"You are all aware and wise citizens, look at our history and their history. Look at what they have given to this country and what they have done and look at what we have done," she said.
Along with Smt. Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Smt. Sheila Dikshit, AICC General Secretary in-charge for Delhi Dr Shakeel Ahmad, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Shri Jai Prakash Agrawal, East Delhi MP Shri Sandeep Dikshit and ministers in the Delhi Government Shri Arvinder Singh Lovely and Shri Haroon Yusuf among others were also present.