DAY OF RALLIES: `False propaganda' fight in Delhi, push for `special status' in Patna Sonia tells party to face battles A combative Sonia Gandhi today bluntly told Congress workers there was no reason to be ashamed of the government's record and sought to dispel a perception that the party would succumb to the pressure-cooker effect of rising prices and rolling scandals. Addressing a huge rally that was organised by the beleaguered party to bolster the morale of the workers, Sonia exhorted the party to tear into â€œthe false propagandaâ€œ of the rivals. The thrust of Sonia, Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appeared to be drilling into the ordinary worker three messages: the need of the hour is to battle it out, the government has taken tough measures keeping the country's long-term interests in mind and corruption is not a Congress-specific issue; others, too, are tarred with the same brush. The Congress said 2 lakh people -an impressive turnout by Delhi standards but par for the course in Calcutta -attended the rally. Sonia reminded the workers of the party's glorious history, its role in freedom struggle and nation-building, its unique capacity to identify with India's pluralism and secular ethos and its commitment to the poor and the downtrodden. Before dwelling on the host of crises at hand, she sought to inject a sense of pride into the demoralised workers by recalling the rich legacy and asked: â€œKoi hai hamare jaisa? Is mamle mein hamara muqabla koi nahi kar sakta (Is there any other party like ours? Nobody can match us on these issues).â€œ Asserting that the Congress party's conscience was clear, she said: â€œWe need not fight shy of anything; we ere honestly working for the poor, Dalits, tribals, backwards, minorities and other weaker sections of the society .â€œ She asked the noisy crowd why the rally was convened and replied: â€œSo that we could make it clear that we are ready to face the enormous challenges -economic, social or political. We will pass this difficult phase and come out triumphant.â€œ Sonia accused the BJP of not being able to digest the successive defeats in 2004 and 2009 and of plotting to weaken the government. She said the BJP did not allow Parliament to function for two reasons: to block legislation for public welfare and to prevent exposure of their own ugly face.â€œ While Sonia explained the difficult decisions of raising petroleum prices and defended foreign direct investment in retail, her focus was on the strident anti-corruption campaign and the rise of new forces which, according to her, were weakening the very foundations of democracy . She said those who were itching to play havoc with the constitutional scheme and mindlessly attack democratic institutions could easily in dulge in mudslinging and character assassination. On corruption, she specifically targeted the BJP. â€œThose who were preaching us on corruption are now found wallowing in the mire of scandals. It is believed those who dig pits for others fall in the well themselves.â€œ She added: â€œThere is a storm of strange news nowadays, bearing all kinds of allegations against the government and the party. We must be careful in analysing what is credible, what is a lie.â€œ HIGH FIVE? NOT REALLY Pride & persevere message to Cong ******************* One could not just give excerpts because each sentence carried substance that conveyed the capturing the force of the Congress' strong fightback against being put in a position with their back to the wall with the spate of scams and alleged misdemeanors of the Congress Party and its leading family. It has apparently struck a chord in the Congress Party rank and file and brought them out of the gloom and despondency that has overpowered it of late.