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Posted on Jan 18, 05:28PM | IBNS
Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi urged party workers and leaders to seriously look at the party's 'strengths, weaknesses and threats', as the two-day 'Chintan Shivir' of the Congress party commenced here from Friday.
"The last nine years have been a period of tremendous economic growth, social change and technological innovation. We should look at our strengths, our weaknesses and the threats we face. We have to recognise the new India," Gandhi said in her opening address at the 'Chintan Shivir'.
She claimed the Congress was the only pan-India party.
Speaking on the issue of alliance partners, Gandhi said the party needs to balance between its alliance and policies.
Gandhi said: "We need to strike a balance between our allies and policies. We haven't translated progress into political support in some states."
In the wake of the recent Delhi gangrape incident, she also highlighted the issue of atrocities against women in her speech.
"I must say with great anguish and pain that discrimination against the girl child and atrocities against women are a blot on our collective conscience," Gandhi said.
"Gender issues are fundamental and should be of concern to all of us," she said.
Speaking on the recent borders tensions between India and Pakistan, Gandhi said: "Let us be very clear, dialogue must be based on accepted principles of civilised behaviour."
Top Congress leaders have arrived here for the event and they are expected to brainstorm on strategies for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Reports said the party will also decide on whether to go for coalitions or give it a go on its own in various states.
The two-day event will end on Jan 20 with the adoption of the Jaipur Declaration.
A session of the All India Congress Committee will be held on Sunday.