Centre trying to extinguish essence, idea of India: Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi: With presidential elections round the corner, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said it was essential that the person who gets elected to the high office protects the Constitution.

"In a few weeks, we will be electing the president and vice president of our republic. In times such as these, it is even more essential that those who occupy this office protect the Constitution," she said, addressing the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting.

File image of Sonia Gandhi. PTI

File image of Sonia Gandhi. PTI

Gandhi said that she met the leaders of like-minded parties to find commonly acceptable candidates for these high offices with former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and some other colleagues.

A subgroup of representatives has been constituted to take this forward, she said.

Referring to the next Lok Sabha election, Gandhi said, "We are not far from the 2019 election. We must be ready to protect the essence and idea of India, which this government is seeking to extinguish."

She said the recently held Assembly elections hold vital lessons for the party both in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

"With an energised cadre and effective leadership, we were able to defeat a sitting NDA government in Punjab, but in Manipur and Goa we failed to convert our winning numbers into forming a government. This outcome reminds us that the BJP will use their enormous resources and muscle power to steal mandates from us, just as they did in Arunachal Pradesh and earlier in Uttarakhand. We cannot let this happen again," she said.

Towards this end, Gandhi said the party organisation must be strengthened.

"The ongoing organisational elections must be completed with the utmost speed and sincerity. The schedule for organisational elections has been determined and will come up before the CWC for approval," she said.

Published Date: Jun 06, 2017 20:17 PM | Updated Date: Jun 06, 2017 20:17 PM

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