While addressing members of party, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday attacked the BJP government over the economic slowdown and accused it of indulging in vendetta politics. She told party leaders that it was not enough to be aggressive only on social media as “democracy was in peril” and the mandate was being “misused” by the government.

According to a Congress source, “Sonia told the party leaders that democracy is in peril today. The electoral mandate is being misused and abused in a most dangerous fashion by the government. Appropriation of freedom fighters and leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, and B.R. Ambedkar with the sole aim of misinterpreting their true messages to further their nefarious agenda. The Congress party must have agitational agenda, and merely being active on social media is not enough.”

A party source said that she also recalled the UPA regime’s achievements in dealing with the economic slowdown between 2007 and 2009. “She told party leaders that our government had taken the economy out of the slowdown during the economic recession,” the source said. She also recalled how during the UPA regime the Congress-led government was able to generate jobs.

The party source also said that the agenda of the meeting also discussed Gandhi Jayanti preparations, membership drive and party workers’ training. Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi, has called a meeting of all Congress ruled state chief ministers, tomorrow.

In an effort to reach out to public, Congress will appoint ‘preraks’ as messengers to carry forward the party message on various issues, like its ideological standings and to bust any myth surrounding the party. The party will appoint three ‘preraks’ at divisional level. Out of the three, one will be a woman and one from the SC/ST/Minority/ OBC background, where each division will constitute of four to five districts.

Slamming the government over the economic slowdown, Sonia told the party that the BJP-led NDA government has been unable to save jobs in several sectors. Sonia said that “the resilience and resolve of the Congress is being tested today. And we need to go to people.”

This is the first meeting of Sonia with senior party leaders, a month after she was appointed the party’s interim chief. Her son and former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi stepped down from the top post taking moral responsibility for the party’s loss in the Lok Sabha polls.