Wednesday, September 15, 2010



Following is the text of letter to the congressperson written by Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi in  ‘Congress Sandesh’ in August issue, which is released today.
     Dear Friends,
       The monsoon this year has caused floods and devastation in greater measure than usual, leading to great loss of life and leaving thousands homeless. Our sympathies go out to all those who have lost their loved ones. In Leh and neighbouring areas, which have seen unprecedented destruction, the armed forces are to be commended for their prompt reaction, helping save many lives, as are numberous private agencies and individuals who have provided humanitarian aid. Our Seva dal workers too traveled to Leh to participate in the relief effort and offer succour to the families in the affected areas. With winter approaching, there is great urgency in rebuilding destroyed homes to protect people from harsh weather.
      This ession of Parliament has passed the Nuclear Liability Bill. This is important not just for India to engage in nuclear commerce with the world but also to put in place an act that will hold the parties concerned responsible in the event of an accident. India cannot and will not accept another disaster like Bhopal. Our Home Minister has already pointed out how successive governments since the Bhopal gas disaster were responsible for the inadequate action taken in response to a disaster of this magnitude. We must now look to the future and how we can best take care of the victims.
     The government has a very active agenda for Parliament in the coming month, and decisions with potentially far-reaching implications have been announced. The Land Acquisition Bill, a new Food Bill, changes in income tax to benefit individuals and companies while at the same time providing dynamic revenues, and strong protection for whistle-blower are in the pipeline. The Congress Party’s commitment to the welfare of the underprivileged and weaker sections was reinforced after the decision to protect the Nigyamgiri region from mining by Party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi who assured the tribal people that their fundamental interest would not be sacrificed in pursuit of development natural resources. We need to ensure that sustainable development and employment reaches people whose voice is now being heard.
      The Congesss has also taken the lead in exposing the corruption and devastation caused by illegal mining in Karnataka. Our party workers have carried out a successful march to the Bellary district. We hope that Congress members in other regions of the country will also play a major role in exposing illegal activities that affect the environment and livelihoods of our villagers.
      The UPA has empowered the people to act through the Right to Information Act. Since it was passed, tens of thousands of ordinary citizens have used it effectively. Sadly, those who stand to lose or be indicted have responded with violence and we are all deeply pained by news of the death of activists working to expose corruption in government programmes. The government has recently passed an act to protect such brave individuals and we hope that people will wield this powerful weapon in growing numbers to rectify wrongs, expose corruption and ensure their rights. I urge all party workers to make full use of this historic act and through it expose corruption. 
                                           Sonia Gandhi      unquote 

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