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AICC Resolution

A view of the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi where the All India Congress Committee held a meeting on January 17, 2014.
A view of the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi where the All India Congress Committee held a meeting on January 17, 2014.
The following is the text of the resolution adopted by a meeting of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) held here today:
 
Opening
 
1.The Indian National Congress dedicates this Convention to the memory of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in a year when we will mark his 50th death anniversary and celebrate his 125th birth anniversary. Pandit Nehru was the prime architect of the modern Indian republic, with its profound commitment to parliamentary democracy, secularism, science and technology, economic planning, social justice and an independent foreign policy. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, he along with other great Congresspersons like Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad, Rajendra Prasad, Rajaji, Sarojini Naidu, Babasaheb Ambedkar and others, not only fought for our freedom, but also gave shape and direction to post-independence India. His contribution to the making of our Constitution, and indeed our nation-state, is most fundamental. The legacy of Pandit Nehru will continue to inspire all Congresspersons, and all Indians, across generations, irrespective of their political affiliations.
 
2.The Indian National Congress applauds the performance of the Congress-led UPA government under the wise leadership of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Under Dr Singh's guidance over almost a decade, India successfully weathered a major global economic crisis, enjoyed the fastest economic growth in the history of independent India, made remarkable strides in fighting poverty and gained a new prestige in the world order.
 
3.The Indian National Congress stands fully prepared to confidently face the political challenges ahead. It will go to the people in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections on the basis of its core values of secularism, social justice and inclusive growth; the performance of the Congress-led UPA government on various fronts; and a commitment to deliver transparent, participative, and accountable governance for all Indians for the next five years.
 
Secularism
 
4.There is a serious challenge faced by the country today from communal and divisive forces. This threatens to rupture the very basic fabric of our nation's unity and social cohesion. Painstaking efforts of several generations of Indians have ensured that our civilizational country retains its diverse and pluralistic character. The Indian National Congress has been the flagbearer for safeguarding and nurturing the secular ethos of India and will continue to fearlessly play this role.
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5.The 2014 Lok Sabha elections will be a contest between opposing ideologies — one that seeks to divide, and the other than seeks to unite India. One, a polarizing ideology that militates against the core values which define Indian nationhood and its constitutional democracy, and the other a liberal secular democratic ideology represented by the Indian National Congress. The Congress Party will continue to champion this liberal secular democratic vision of India, and seeks the support of all like-minded political and social forces to come together in this pursuit at this critical juncture.
 
Anti-Corruption /Transparency
 
6.The Indian National Congress is deeply aware that the scourge of corruption affects the life of every Indian, and the poor carry its greatest burden. The Congress believes this is unacceptable and has been tirelessly working on an agenda of governance to address this. The Congress-led UPA government struck the defining blow on corruption by enacting the Right to Information Act in 2005. However in our pursuit to root out corruption we have to be careful so as not to confuse disagreement on merits or even an honest mistake with corruption. Not everything that we find wrong is necessarily corruption. Several decisions of courts and constitutional authorities rejecting some administrative/executive decisions, taken with all good intensions, have caused considerable damage to our economy. We are laying down a solid base of legislation to root out corruption and making the corrupt accountable, but equally we have to be vigilant that natural justice is not given a go-bye or honest public servants hounded or forced into self conscious paralysis.
 
7.The Congress Party commends the UPA government for ensuring that the Lokpal Bill was passed in the last session of Parliament. As noted by the Congress Vice President, tackling corruption requires a comprehensive framework of action and a concerted political program at all levels. The Lokpal Bill, while being a critical milestone, alone will not be adequate to fight corruption. India needs a comprehensive Anti-Corruption Code, which the UPA Government has developed, consisting of nine new Central laws. Four of these bills are pending in Lok Sabha and two in the Rajya Sabha. The Indian National Congress calls upon the UPA government and the Parliament to debate and enact all six pending anti-corruption bills in the final session of this Lok Sabha which is due to be convened next month.
 
8.The Indian National Congress also believes that fighting corruption requires a fundamental transformation in our service delivery structures. The `Aapka Paisa, Aapke Haath' initiative of the UPA government, backed by the unique identity number Aadhaar, which will ensure that benefits of government schemes reach the people directly, on time and at their doorstep, eliminating corruption and leakages, is a major step in this direction. The Congress is deeply committed to ensuring the full rollout and effective implementation of this programme across the country, while ensuring that no one is excluded in the transition and no hardship is caused in the initiate stage.
 
Internal Security
 
9.Over the last 10 years, the Congress-led UPA government has had considerable success in addressing issues of internal security, including left-wing extremism, through better trained and equipped security forces, a better intelligence network, and through the more sensitive implementation of development programmes. The Indian National Congress remains committed to this approach even while it acknowledges that the vigil can never be relaxed against those forces that are out to create panic and fear in the country.
 
Price Rise
 
10.The Indian National Congress believes that price rise, especially of essential commodities, is the biggest burden on the common man. While recognising that some of this price rise is due to high prices of commodities in the international markets and other external factors, the Party remains committed to doing everything in its command to fight price rise. It is with this intent that all Congress-ruled states have delisted fruits and vegetables from their respective Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees Acts so that the farmers have a choice where to sell their produce by eliminating the middleman and the consumers get the benefit of lower prices. All Congress-ruled states are also invoking the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to sternly deal with hoarding, black-marketing and profiteering. Chronic offenders will also detained under the Prevention of Black-marketing & Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980. The war against price rise will continue to remain the overriding policy priority of the Congress Party.
 
Social Empowerment & Inclusion
 
11.The Indian National Congress has remained committed to its promise to the people of India of social empowerment and inclusive growth. These have been the cornerstones of its policy agenda. Consistent with this commitment, the Congress-led UPA government has taken several bold legislative and policy initiatives to enable empowerment of all Indians through the Rights-based approach. It has enacted progressive legislations like the Right to Information Act, the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, the Forest Rights Act, the Right to Education Act, the National Food Security Act and the Right to Fair Compensation in Land Acquisition and R&R Act. Ensuring the effective implementation of these legislations will remain a key priority of the Congress Party.
 
12. Recognising the unmet needs of most Indians to access affordable and quality healthcare, a massive infrastructure has been created through the National Rural Health Mission and other programmes. The eradication of polio is a huge achievement. A programme to provide free medicines to all Indians is being implemented in a phased manner. The Congress believes that it is time for us to consider a Right to Health for all Indians. In addition, conscious that our growing economy will inevitably bring conflicting claims and consequent need for fair adjudication, the Congress Party believes that it is time to introduce the.Right to Justice by ramping up the Legal Aid schemes and expanding the judicial footprint to ensure faster dispensation of justice.
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13.The Party's commitment to the inclusive growth agenda can also be gauged by the manifold increase in budgetary allocations for social welfare programmes under the Congress-led UPA government. As a result of these policies, the rate of decline of poverty has more than doubled under the UPA government. The Congress Party remains deeply committed to this empowerment and the inclusive growth agenda, and to eliminating poverty from India.
 
14.The Reservations model has served India well over the years since Independence to ensure social justice, especially for the weakest sections of society, dalits, adivasis, OBCs, and women. Whilst it is important to review the contours of the model for more effective implementation and to address issues of reservation in promotion, the Congress believes that it is also an opportune time to look also at other forms of affirmative action. The proposal to set up an Equal Opportunity Commission has been in principle accepted by the Government.
 
Economic Growth, Investment and Infrastructure
 
15.The Indian National Congress reaffirms its commitment to high economic growth, which is essential to create jobs and increase incomes of the common man. Despite the global financial crisis and economic slowdown in all emerging economies, India has remained the second fastest growing large economy in the world. Even if one includes the years of recent economic slowdown, the rate of growth achieved in the past nine years under the Congress-led UPA government is the highest for any nine year period in India's history. The Congress will continue to promote policies that create high economic growth which creates employment as well as government revenues for social welfare programmes.
 
16.The Congress pledges to maintain a business environment conducive to investment, both domestic and foreign, and entrepreneurship, especially in micro, small and medium enterprises. The proposed industrial corridors connecting all parts of the country are the most innovative infrastructure projects conceived for implementation anywhere in the world. The Congress Party will continue to pursue the creation of world-class infrastructure in a time-bound manner, proactively attract investment, enhance bilateral trade and capital flows, and promote the labour-intensive manufacturing sector in particular.
 
Youth and Jobs
 
17.The Indian National Congress has always believed in the critical role played by the youth of our nation in its development. We are a fortunate nation at the cusp of a demographic dividend with a young and entrepreneurial workforce. The Indian National Congress recognizes that the single biggest priority for the youth of India is to find suitable employment opportunities. By accelerating the programmes of the UPA government for skill development and entrepreneurship, such as the National Skills Development Mission, the Congress Party is committed to creating 10 million jobs for India's youth every year and skilling young Indians to take in these jobs.
 
18.The Congress Party also welcomes the new National Youth Policy approved by the UPA government last week which aims to empower the youth of India to achieve their full potential. The Congress remains committed to continuing this focus to increase agricultural productivity and enhance the welfare of the Indian farmer. It is committed to increasing the agricultural growth rate to over 4% per annum and to accelerate efforts for water conservation, especially through groundwater recharging, optimising our irrigation potential, and improving the efficiency of supply chains, reducing the role of middlemen and ensuring farmers get a larger value for their produce.
 
Science Technology, Knowledge & Innovation
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19.The Congress Party has, since the time of Pandit Nehru, championed the role of science and technology in India's development. Rajivji conceptualized and brought in the IT and Telecom revolution to India. In the 21st Century, the importance of knowledge and innovation in India's development is critical, and the Congress Party is committed to making India the world's foremost knowledge economy of this century. The National Knowledge Network that connects all major universities and colleges in India with high-speed internet, the National Optical Fibre Network that is in the process of connecting all 250,000 Panchayats with broadband internet connectivity, the Aadhaar initiative, and several e-governance initiatives started by the Congress-led UPA government have set the foundations for this. We remain committed to accelerating the implementation of these initiatives to transform the lives of all Indians.
 
Agriculture & Rural Development
 
20.The Indian National Congress is particularly mindful of the contribution of the Indian farmer to India's development and is committed to his/her welfare. In 2004, the Congress-led UPA government committed to "A New Deal for Rural India", and it has delivered on this promise substantially. It has raised support prices for agricultural produce more than ever before, expanded credit to farmers, enhanced storage facilities and created linkages to markets, so that farmers can realize a better price for their produce. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has assured agricultural labour of a floor wage and has increased their bargaining power. These initiatives have ensured that agricultural GDP has grown faster than ever before, and made India one of the world's largest producers of foodgrains,
 
Women
 
21. The safety and welfare of women has always been and will always remain an overarching priority of the Indian National Congress. The Congress has a long track-record of enacting laws for the welfare of women. It is the Party that has been led by many women presidents and the only Party that elected a woman Prime Minister. It is under the leadership of a Congress government that reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions was introduced. The Congress-led UPA government got the Women's Reservation Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha. It also got the Criminal Law Amendment Bill passed in Parliament that introduces more stringent punishment for crimes against women. Congress governments have also successfully led the creation of bank-linked women Self Help Groups (SHGs) across the country that have become the symbols of economic and social empowerment of women across India. The Indian National Congress pledges to continue this unrelenting focus on issues of women's safety, welfare and empowerment.
 
Foreign Policy
 
22.The Indian National Congress is committed to a foreign policy for India that is rooted in India's national interest. The Congress-led UPA government has pursued a policy of constructive engagement with its neighbours, the rest of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the countries of the developed work, protecting and enhancing the interests of its citizens and its diaspora. The Indian National Congress continues to believe that terrorism is a major challenge collectively facing the world community and is committed to tackling this through global cooperation. The Congress Party, the largest democratic political party in the world, is also committed to enhancing relations with like-minded political parties across the world.
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Call to Action
 
23.This meeting of the AICC declares that the Congress Party's 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign will be led by Shri Rahul Gandhi. The Indian National Congress calls upon all its office bearers and workers to work steadfastly for the Party's success in coming Lok Sabha elections. Recent political setbacks are an important wake up call, and if anything, they should motivate us to work harder, enhancing the connect with every Indian. We must retain faith in ourselves, our cherished values and our agenda for a prosperous and inclusive India, and rededicate ourselves to working tirelessly in the service of the people of India.
 
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