Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge with Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders during the second day of Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, in Hyderabad, on September 17, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI
Asserting that it is ready for elections, the Congress on September 17 expressed confidence about receiving a decisive mandate in the upcoming assembly polls in five states.
Reaffirmed the preparedness of the party organization for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, it said the people of the country want change.
The assertion was made in a resolution adopted at the conclusion of the extended Congress Working Committee meeting here. “This meeting of the Extended Congress Working Committee concludes by expressing its confidence that the Indian National Congress will receive a decisive mandate from the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana in the assembly elections that will be held shortly,” the resolution said.
The Congress Party is fully ready for the battle ahead. It is confident that the people of the country are wanting change, the resolution asserted. “We will fulfill their expectations of law and order, freedom, social and economic justice, equality and equity,” it said.
The first meeting of the reconstituted Congress Working Committee (CWC) took place on September 16.
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 (CLP) leaders, parliamentary party office-bearers and its Central Election Committee members.
The Congress on Saturday had resolved to make the INDIA bloc an “ideological and electoral success” to free the country from “divisive politics” and ensure that people get a government that is sensitive and accountable.
The party had made the assertion in a 14-point resolution adopted by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on the first day of the deliberations Saturday.
Rahul stresses on ideological clarity, cautions against walking into ‘traps of BJP’
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has asked party leaders at the CWC meeting. to focus on people’s issues and maintain ideological clarity, while cautioning them against “walking into traps of the BJP”.
Addressing a press conference on the second day of deliberations of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), party’s media and publicity department chief Pawan Khera said Mr. Gandhi spoke during the first meeting of the reconstituted CWC and called on leaders to heed the voice of ‘Bharat Mata’ to raise people’s issues.
“He (Gandhi) laid specific stress on the need to have ideological clarity. All of us emerged from that hall of the CWC in deep thought with absolute clarity. He warned us against walking into irrelevant traps of the BJP. These are not issues of the common man or woman or to any of us,” Mr. Khera said.
The former Congress chief also asked party leaders to remain focusedsed on the actual reason why the Congress and each one of them were in politics – to ensure that they heeded the voice of ‘Bharat Mata’ and translate that voice into actual issues, and wherever in government, into actual policies, he said.
Mr. Gandhi’s remarks at the CWC come amid a raging row over DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin’s comment on Sanatan Dharma which has been vehemently criticized by the BJP. Some Congress leaders on Saturday called for a cautious approach on the Sanatan Dharma row and stressed that the party should not get drawn into the BJP’s agenda.
Sources said some leaders, including Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh, said at the CWC meeting that the party should stay away from such issues and not be drawn into it.
Speaking at the presser, Mr. Khera said, “Rahul ji asked us ‘whether you have clarity on ideology in your mind or not?’. Rahul ji’s words were that Congress is not an organization-based party, it is a movement which also has an organization. It is the movement which drives the organization and not the organization that drives the movement.” That is the fundamental difference between the Congress and other parties in India, he added.
“Any movement in Rahul ji’s words can be for three-four months, there is an objective, people walk on that path and others keep joining it. Bharat Jodo Yatra was an effort to unite us with the roots of the movement. That yatra not only helped the party connect with its roots but also the Congress workers and sympathizers realized that this is the way forward for the country,” Khera said.
The essence of Bharat Jodo Yatra is being translated into guarantees that were seen in Karnataka and will be seen in Telangana, he added.
Mr. Khera also narrated a conversation Mr. Gandhi had with Mr. Kharge earlier which he shared with the CWC on Saturday.
“Yesterday, Rahul Gandhi cited a thought-provoking conversation he had with Mallikarjun Kharge. He asked Kharge ji why he chose the Congress in 1969. Kharge told him that the entire Congress had left Indira Gandhi and joined Cong (O) over reforms undertaken by her. He instinctively thought Congress is the only party that thinks about backward, Dalits and the poor, and was retrospectively proven right,” Mr. Khera said.