The Congress on Friday said it will discuss alliance issues after strengthening its own organisation and unifying its cadres as no partner will come “if you don’t have any investment”.
Ahead of the three-day ‘Chintan Shivir’ here, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the party will decide on alliances with those parties that subscribe to its ideology and are concerned over the ”attack” on democracy and the Constitution and want to save them.
Kharge said the Shivir will usher in a clear message that nationalism and love for India is the core philosophy of the Congress.
”This is a fight between Indian nationalists V/S pseudo nationalists. Those who stand with the principles of the Indian National Congress represent the Indian way of life and thought that has sustained this civilisation for 3000 years,” ”Not the fake nationalism of BJP-RSS. It is the Congress party that adheres to the Indian path of rejecting all extremes. This Chintan Shivir will usher in a clear message that nationalism and love for India is the core philosophy of the Indian National Congress,” Kharge said.
The political challenge today for the Congress is five-fold, he said, and asserted that the party will come up with a political action plan on rising to these challenges. ”First, we have to retrieve our rich legacy and heritage to inspire the youth. We need to redefine our ideology to reassure our party workers and supporters. We have to reaffirm our commitment to the Constitution, of ensuring liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, the federal structure, the poorest and the most oppressed in society. We have to reclaim the Indian way of life and what it means to be an Indian,” Kharge said.
”We need to reinvent our politics to transform the party, society and the nation, including politics as a form of social service, how we connect to the people on issues that matter to them, how we raise funds from the people, how we tackle lies and distortions, and how we can lead initiatives that bring people together,” Kharge said.
On the issue of alliances, the Congress leader said the party will formulate a broad principle and will go with those accepting the principles.
“First we want to set right our own house. We want to make the Congress people more active and more powerful and then we will go to others. If you don’t have any investment which partner will come and who will put money on you,” Kharge told reporters.
“So after addressing our own deficiencies we will discuss the alliance issue and formulate a broad principle. Whosoever accepts that principle we will go with them,” he added.
He said after removing whatever deficiencies, which will be discussed here at the Shivir, some proposals will come forward and whosoever accepts these principles, then we will go to them.
“We want to take everyone along, we will walk with those who believe in the secular fabric and constitutional values. First we want to set our own house in order. We first want to make the Congress people more active and more powerful and then we will go to the others,” he noted.
The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said the top party leadership will discuss on how to strengthen the organisation at all levels and come out with a clear strategy in this regard.
The party has suffered a series of electoral defeats in the past few years and is working on several steps to arrest the decline.
Kharge, who heads the Chintan Shivir committee on political issues, said among the proposals to be discussed include the ”attack” on democracy and the Constitution, protecting diversity including religious and linguistic, rising communal polarisation, protection of autonomous bodies and institutions, national security and foreign policy.
Besides, he said the issues of Centre-State relations, decisions taken by the Centre, alliances with regional parties, the North East situation and that in Jammu and Kashmir will also be discussed.
Kharge said the Congress wanted to take along anyone and everyone who subscribes to its ideology and believes in constitutional principles, democracy and secular fabric but will first organise its own house before looking out.
He said saving democracy was foremost and then the Constitution, which were under attack, after which the fundamental rights of people and saving institutions were most important.
The senior Congress leader also attacked the ruling BJP, saying it talks of nationalism and is trying to teach it to the Congress which has been at the forefront of India’s freedom struggle.
He said the leaders of the BJP and the RSS were never seen during the freedom struggle, including the Quit India and other movements, and dubbed them as “pseudo-nationals”.
“Those who never fought for the nation or made any sacrifices for the country are now teaching us lessons,” he noted.
“If you were real patriots, where were you during the Quit India movement or when Mahatma Gandhi launched various agitations,” he asked.
Kharge said the Congress and its leaders have fought from the front and the country’s history needs to be told to the younger generations and also the Congress role during the freedom struggle.
“If people are giving importance to ‘jumlas’ and not to our hard work, then it is injustice to us,” Kharge said. ”Our commitment to the Indian nation is founded upon years of determined fight against British rule. When the BJP’s forebears and the Muslim League were forming joint governments in Sindh and West Bengal as puppets of British, it is the Congress that was waging a battle for India’s freedom,” he said.