Verdict comes with onerous responsibilities : Sonia Gandhi


New Delhi : Congress chief Sonia Gandhi Tuesday said verdict 2009 is both “exhilarating and sobering” and that the mandate comes with “onerous responsibilities.”

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“We have won an election but also undertaken a serious obligation,” she said while addressing the newly elected MPs at a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) here.

Gandhi, who proposed the name of Manmohan Singh as the CPP leader and the prime minister, said : “We have awakened new hopes, and it is now our task to respond to the very aspirations that have brought to us this day to this hall in these numbers.”

She said that a long and difficult election had come to an end, with a result that is “both exhilarating and sobering”. “We have received a generous mandate, but one that comes with onerous responsibilities.”

Gandhi stressed that the people crave honest and capable governance and decency in public life. “We must not disappoint them,” she added.

Praising Manmohan Singh’s record of the past five years, she said that the party looked forward to his leadership.

“His dignified, determined and effective leadership of the government has been an inspiration for us all and has received overwhelming approval from the people of our country,” she added.

Gandhi stressed the need to restore the “decorum of political discourse” and said that after many years of “fractious politics, we should work together with parliamentary representatives of all parties.”

She said all should work towards raising parliament “once again to a pre-eminent forum of dignified debate and decision making”.

“We have an opportunity to rebuild the eroded faith in some of our political and public institutions, indeed in us politicians as well.”

About verdict 2009, she said that the party was able to convince the people that their future is “secure” in the hands of a “party and government that is committed to secularism, and work for development, equality and inclusiveness”.

“We have earned their support and we must keep their trust. We must never forget that we are here first and foremost in their service,” she said.