Gandhi: Indian voters 'fed up'
JAIPUR, INDIA - India’s most powerful politician, ruling Congress party President Sonia Gandhi, said voters are "rightly fed up" with corruption as she called on her party to do more to tackle the problem before the general election.
- Published: 18/01/2013 at 06:28 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Gandhi, 66, said young leaders' displays of wealth were worrying and that checking graft should be a top priority.
In a speech to party workers on Friday, she said Congress was facing rising competition from rivals, including in former strongholds.
"Amid all the lavish and ostentatious displays of wealth, does this not beg the question where is this wealth coming from?" Gandhi said at a meeting in Jaipur to review the political and economic challenges facing the party.
"Our citizens are rightly fed up with the levels of corruption."
Gandhi was speaking on the first day of a three-day meeting aimed at mapping out the party's strategy ahead of next year's poll. It is the first such session since Congress returned to power in 2004 and the third since Gandhi took charge of the party in 1998.
A similar summit in 2003 endorsed a decision to fight the following year’s election at the head of a prearranged coalition, paving the way for Manmohan Singh's two terms.
The Italian-born widow of assassinated former premier Rajiv Gandhi told party workers they need to set aside their personal ambitions to work together as they face "serious challenges in states long considered our bastions".
She said there was a risk Indias growing educated middle class was becoming "disillusioned and alienated" by the party’s policies.
The ruling Congress party is aiming to revive morale after two tough years as it faces national elections in less than 15 months. The party, battered by corruption allegations that reached the cabinet, is also presiding over a slowing economy and has been defeated in key regional polls.
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- Writer: Bloomberg News