New Delhi, Dec 16: An emotiol Sonia Gandhi, who retired as Congress chief - a position she had held since 1998, said “savage persol attacks” by his opponents had made her son and new party President Rahul Gandhi “brave and strong-hearted”. In her speech at the ceremony to hand over the charge of party President to her 47-year-old son, Sonia Gandhi said she was confident that “with a new and young leadership, our party will be reinvigorated and bring about the changes we need”.
Savage' persol attacks made Rahul stronger: Sonia
“India is a young country. You have chosen Rahul as your leader. He is my son, and it would not be suitable for me to praise him. But this much I will say — while from his very childhood he has borne the experience of violence, the savage persol attacks he has confronted since entering politics has served to make him a brave and strong-hearted man. “I am proud of his endurance and firmness, and I am confident he will lead the Party with a pure heart, patience and devotion,” Sonia Gandhi said in her last speech as Congress President. She recalled how nervous she was “that my hands were shaking” 20 years ago when she made her first address as Congress President.
“I could not think how I would mage to take charge of this historic organization. It was a formidable and onerous task that confronted me.” She said the Congress had only three state governments when she joined the party and was far from a government at the Centre.
“With all your continued efforts we regained our strength and one after the other formed governments in more than two dozen states.” She recalled how lakhs of Congress workers had been with her in facing many challenges to keep the party united and focused.
“After 2004, together with some like-minded parties, for 10 years we gave the people a responsible and progressive government led by Manmohan Singh that worked for all sections of our society. We are proud that during this period we brought in rights-based laws securing for our poor brothers and sisters their rights to food, education, employment, information.” Sonia Gandhi said the challenge now was even greater with the Congress losing many elections.
“Since 2014, we have been playing the part of the opposition. Never before have we faced the challenge that we face today. The fundamentals of our Constitution are under attack. Our party has lost several state elections. But an exemplary energy fires our Congress workers. We are not ones to bend in fear, because our struggle is a fight for the very soul of this tion. We will never retreat from this fight,” she added. (IANS)