Onus on Congress to protect Constitution, democracy: Kharge at key panel meet
Mallikarjun Kharge has asked party leaders to “continuously raise” basic issues and expose and anti-people policies of BJP
The Congress party laid the foundation of the Constitution and democracy and the responsibility of protecting them also lies with it, party chief Mallikarjun Kharge told the extended Congress working committee that met at Telangana’s capital on Sunday to brainstorm on the upcoming elections.
The year 2024 marks the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi becoming Congress president and removing the Bharatiya Janata Party from power next year will be a “true tribute” to him, he said.
Kharge, under whose charge the Congress has won two assembly polls so far, asked party leaders to “continuously raise” basic issues and expose the “shortcomings and anti-people policies” of the BJP, reminding them that “the Modi government does politics of distracting and diverting people from their basic issues by bringing new issues.”
On Sunday, the extended panel, which includes chief ministers, state unit chiefs and legislative party leaders, besides members of the working committee, met to discuss the party’s strategy for the upcoming assembly and 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The campaign planning comes in the backdrop of the working committee’s deliberations and resolution on various issues and policies on Saturday.
“The Congress has laid the foundation of the Constitution and democracy. Therefore, the responsibility of protecting them also lies with Congress. For this, we will have to fight till our last breath. 2024 marks the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi becoming Congress President. 2023 is the centenary of Congress Seva Dal. Removing BJP from power in 2024 will be a true tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Therefore, we have to continuously raise all the basic issues,” the Congress president said.
Pointing out that India is looking forward for a change from the current regime and the signs are evident, Kharge said the party has to work hard. He asked his colleagues to remain in constant touch with the electorate and immediately counter falsehoods as “India’s democracy has to be saved by removing this dictatorial government.”
“The country wants change. The sign is in front of us. Our victory in the recent elections in Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh is proof of this. This is not the time to sit back. You will have to work hard day and night,” Kharge said on the second day of the meeting.
Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Mizoram are due later this year. The Lok Sabha polls are expected in April-May.
Kharge announced that the country is “waiting” for the message of the meeting. Starting a brainstorming session to devise a poll strategy, he reminded the leaders how the party had conquered many challenges in 138 years of its existence and said, “We are aware of the challenges of the future. These challenges are actually the challenges of Indian democracy. The country is challenged to save the Constitution.”
While he described how, at the central level, review meetings of 20 states have been completed, the Congress president focused on the preparations at the ground. “In the last two months, we held detailed meetings with officials and prominent leaders of 20 states and made a strategy. Rahulji (Gandhi) participated in these meetings. Recently, we also went to many rallies in election states. Priyankaji (Gandhi) is also holding a public meeting. There is a good atmosphere in favour of Congress everywhere,” he said.
Kharge, who joined the Congress in 1969, advised delegates to maintain strict discipline. “Keep in mind that we should not do anything for the sake of ego or our applause that the party may suffer loss,” he said. “No one becomes a leader without discipline. If we remain disciplined, only then will people follow and listen to us.”
He emphasised on unity, a virtue that the Congress often lacks in key areas, and pointed to its benefits that accrued in the Karnataka assembly polls. “We remained united in Karnataka, the result of which was seen by all.”