Hyderabad: Stressing on unity and organisational discipline, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday asked party leaders to set aside personal differences and take on adversaries with their full might in the coming state and Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing the extended CWC meeting on the second day of deliberations, the Congress chief said the party’s goal must be to defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and work diligently to form an alternative government in the country.
In a scathing attack on the Modi government, Kharge accused it of playing politics and distracting people from basic issues. He said the party leaders should stay away from such distractions and remain focussed on real issues.
”Recently, during the Mumbai meeting of the INDIA alliance, the Modi government formed a committee on ‘One Nation, One Election’. In contravention of all conventions, it also included a former President to fulfill its agenda,” Kharge said in his opening remarks at the extended CWC.
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The Congress chief called for remaining connected with voters and immediately countering the false narrative peddled by adversaries with facts. He said elections are scheduled in five states in the next two to three months and the Lok Sabha polls are only six months away.
Kharge also said the party must be prepared for possible assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Congress-led governments in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan have ”pioneered a new model of social justice and welfarism”, he said, and urged party leaders to publicise these welfare schemes across the country.
Kharge asserted that the people are looking for an alternative and the party’s victories in the Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka elections clearly prove this.
”This is not the time to rest…We must work tirelessly, putting aside personal interests. We must prioritise the success of the party, putting aside our personal differences,” Kharge told the leaders present at the meeting.
He also emphasised that leaders must exercise self-restraint and avoid going to the media with statements against their party colleagues or the party so that the organisation’s interests are not harmed.
”Likewise, organisational unity is of utmost importance. Only through unity and discipline can we defeat our adversaries. This was evident in Karnataka, where we remained united and fought with discipline to achieve success,” he said.
”Our goal must be to defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and work diligently to form an alternative government in the country,” the Congress chief stressed.
Noting that there are challenges ahead, Kharge said these challenges aren’t just those of the Congress but also concern the survival of Indian democracy and the preservation of the Indian Constitution.
He said the challenge is to save the Constitution and the rights of SC/ST/OBCs, women, poor and minorities.
Claiming that the Congress had laid the foundation of the Constitution and democracy in the country, Kharge said that is why the onus of protecting them is also on the party. ”For this, we have to fight till our last breath.” ”I would like to ask the state presidents and legislative party leaders present here: Are your committees at the mandal, block and district levels ready? Are we giving them regular programmes? Have we started identifying potential candidates,” Kharge asked.
”This is not the time for us to rest. In the last 10 years under BJP rule, the challenges faced by ordinary people have multiplied. The Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) refuses to address the concerns of the poor, farmers, labourers, women, and youth; instead, he cannot look beyond himself,” the Congress chief alleged.
”In such circumstances, we cannot remain mute spectators,” he added.
Kharge urged the leaders to unite and overthrow ”this dictatorial government” in order to save democracy.
Observing that there are ups and downs in everyone’s life, he said, ”We must take care that we should not do anything out of our ego or our own self that should hurt the party interests.” He said no one becomes a leader without discipline and people will listen when there is discipline.
Noting that 2024 also marks the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s election as the Congress president, Kharge said the most fitting tribute to the Mahatma would be to oust the BJP from power in 2024.
”From Telangana, we will go with renewed strength and a clear message. We leave Hyderabad today with a firm commitment: to win not only in Telangana but in all the upcoming elections, relieving people from miseries of the BJP’s misrule,” he said.
In his closing remarks, Kharge said the party’s leaders brainstormed for two days and good suggestions have been received. ”Many points and suggestions have been put before us by the members of the working committee. The party will consider these suggestions. But priority should be given to the work that the members have to do,” he added.
Kharge also urged the office bearers to complete the process of appointing members of state, district and block-level committees of the party.
”Assembly elections are to be held in five states. And we have to maintain this readiness till the Lok Sabha elections,” the party chief asserted.
”We have to reach out to voters between 18 and 25 years of age. We have to tell them about our ideology, about our history and about our work,” Kharge said, adding that the party should prepare an army of young speakers to convey the ideology of the Congress to the youths.
”Along with this, it is very important to scrutinise the voters’ list of your area. The general secretary organisation should call a review meeting regarding this,” he said.
”We will give you detailed programmes from booth to national level in the coming days. You will tell people about these programmes and involve all the Congress leaders in it,” he said at the extended CWC.
”Nehru ji had said, ‘Rest is forbidden’. I would also say that rest is forbidden. If you do all the work then the path ahead will become easier. Otherwise, democracy will end, Constitution will end,” Kharge said.
The Congress brass deliberated on formulating a strategy for the upcoming assembly elections and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls as well as ways to strengthen the organisation for a second day at an extended CWC meeting here.
The first meeting of the reconstituted Congress Working Committee (CWC) took place on Saturday.
Besides regular members, permanent invitees and special invitees, the extended meeting of the apex decision-making body of the party included state party chiefs, Congress Legislature Party leaders, parliamentary party office-bearers and its central election committee members.