Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Take to the Streets for Common Man: Shakil Ahmed Urges Congressmen


Take to the Streets for Common Man: Shakil Ahmed Urges Congressmen

By Staff Reporter

Sonia Gandhi has called upon party men in Congress-ruled states to raise their voices for basic issues of the common man like they do in opposition-ruled states and take to the streets if need be," urged Shakil Ahmed, General Secretary, AICC to the gathering at the 7th Political Conference of Pradesh Congress Committee held at ITF Ground on 11th December. He made scathing attack on the opposition BJP for its divisive politics and on the Anna Hazare Movement as being sponsored by the RSS. He was equally critical of Baba Ramdev for his ties with BJP. He warned his party men to be wary of the rumours being percolated by the fundamentalist forces and concentrate on propagating the various welfare measures adopted by the UPA government. Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, member CWC and General Secretary, AICC was the Chief Guest.
The Seventh Political Conference of Pradesh Congress Committee, also passed three resolutions - organizational matters, political and economic.
In the political resolution, the party demanded a Legislative Assembly for the Islands on the lines of Arunachal Pradesh and Puducherry. The party felt it very unfortunate that all the decisions are taken by one man. The resolution said that with the abolition of Pradesh Parishad, an advisory body, all doors for a democratic setup in these Islands had been closed. It also demanded one nominated seat in Rajya Sabha for the Islands.
The Conference resolved to strengthen the party by enrolling new members and improving the relationship of party workers with PRIs and by adhering to the policies of the party. The conference demanded to fill the vacant posts without delay to cope up with the problem of educated unemployment among the youth. In its economic resolution, it demanded a separate shipping corporation for the Islands and a full fledged ship repairing dockyard. It asked the government for creation of separate UT cadre in Civil Service and Police Service for the Islands. It demanded upward revision of minimum wages of MGNREGA. The resolution also sought extension of Inland Vessel Water Limits in ANI. Regularisation of services of all government servants requiring UPSC clearance was also raised by the party.
Speaking on the occasion the chief guest spoke on length about the strategy of his party with regards to Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He spelled out the message of Sonia Gandhi, President AICC and congratulated the Pradesh Congress Committee for organizing the conference. He shared his experiences in his capacity as MoS (Communications) during his last visit immediately after the Tsunami along with Sriprakash Jaiswal, MoS (Home) and Mukul Vasnik for restoration of communication network and participating in the relief works on the instruction of the Prime minister. He appreciated the large turn out of supporters of the Party especially the women members and said - 'According to Sonia Gandhi, no organisation can be strong without the active participation of women members in it". Addressing the issues raised by the local level leaders in the political, economic and organizational resolution adopted in the conference, he assured them of taking it up in the meeting scheduled later in the evening with the Lt. Governor and with concerned ministries on his return to Delhi.
In his address R.C. Khuntia, Secretary, AICC, the guest of honour, spoke on length about various issues raised in the resolutions adopted in the conference. He said that the party workers should work united for securing the Lok Sabha seat in the next general elections and then the party will work towards realizing the dream of a legislative assembly for the islands.
Kuldeep Rai Sharma, President, Pradesh Congress Committee welcoming the dignitaries spelt out the grievances plaguing the common Islanders. He stressed on the need for a Legislative Assembly on the lines of Puducherry or Arunachal Pradesh. He further spoke on the immediate release of relief package for the Tsunami-affected farmers of South Andaman, status of Ranchi community, unemployment issues and setting up of IT industry, increase in quota of MBBS seats, encroachment regularization, better connectivity, status of Tribal Council, mainstreaming of the indigenous tribe and several other issues. He requested the Chief Guest to take up these issues with the Central Ministries. He gave a detailed account of the success of the Congress party in going alone in the local bodies' elections this time and securing the Zilla Parishad of South as well as North & Middle Andaman along with the Port Blair Municipal Council from opposition rule.    
Mohammed Ali, General Secretary, PCC secretary spoke on the present political scenario of the Islands. Condolence resolution was presented by senior leader V.Giri followed by one minute silence for all the departed leaders of Party since the last political conference. Economic Resolution was presented by Paritosh Halder, Vice President, PCC. Political Resolution was presented by M.Z. Siddique, General Secretary, PCC. Organisational Matters Resolution was presented by Ranglal Halder, President, District Congress Committee, N&M Andamans District.
The conference commenced with a torch rally flagged off by the Chief Guest from the National Memorial Cellular Jail at 9.30 am. A condolence ceremony was held at the premises of ITF ground where floral tributes were paid to the departed senior leaders and pioneers of the Congress Party. The Congress party flag was hoisted at the venue and guard of honour was given to the Chief Guest by the volunteers of Congress Seva Dal. Prizes were distributed to winners of Rajiv Gandhi Football memorial tournament organized by Block Congress committee, Ferrargunj by the chief guest. A souvenir was also released on the occasion. Vote of thanks was proposed by P.Prasad, Adhyaksh, Zilla Parishad, N&M Andaman District.

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