The Congress @ 125
Obviously conscious of the toll, a series of scams and controversies have taken on the credibility and image of the Congress and the government, Sonia Gandhi on Sunday announced a multipronged war on corruption and directed ministers and partymen to tackle the menace head-on. The Congress plenary, which met against the backdrop of 2G, CWG and Adarsh, was turned by Sonia into a platform to claim that the Congress—which has recently been rocked by a series of scams—would actually lead the fight against corruption. She sought to give this fight an institutional character by calling for fast-tracking corruption cases against politicians and other public servants, abolishing the government’s discretionary powers to allocate land (which she dubbed as the top source of corruption), transparent auctioning of mining leases and state funding of elections. Sonia Gandhi’s 5-point agenda for probity in public life also included transparency in public procurement processes and protection to whistleblowers. She told her partymen that simplicity, restraint and austerity must be our chosen way, called upon them to avoid vulgar displays of wealth and waste, and lamented that austerity couldn’t be made into a law.