Top Congress Leaders Discuss Election Strategy at Extended CWC Meet; Kharge Urges Unity & Discipline
GG News Bureau
Hyderabad, 18th Sept. The Congress expressed confidence on Sunday that it will receive a decisive mandate in the upcoming Assembly elections in five states and reaffirmed its readiness for the 2024 Lok Sabha election, after two days of frantic deliberation, with party chief Mallikarjun Kharge exhorting leaders to maintain unity and discipline.
In his speech on the last day of the extended Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting here, Kharge urged party leaders to put aside their personal differences in order to ensure the party’s success and work toward forming an alternative government in the country as people seek change.
He also asked them not to speak negatively about the party or their colleagues in public for personal gain.
A resolution passed at the end of the extended CWC meeting expressed confidence that the Congress would obtain a decisive mandate from the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, and Telangana in the upcoming Assembly elections.
“It also reaffirms the preparedness of the party organisation for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, which are due in April-May 2024.
“The Congress party is fully ready for the battle ahead. It is confident that the people of our country are wanting change. We will fulfil their expectations of law and order, freedom, social and economic justice, equality and equity,” the CWC resolution said.
During the extended CWC meeting, the party’s state unit chiefs from Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Mizoram gave reports on their states’ preparedness and election strategy.
Some Delhi leaders, including former Union minister Ajay Maken and Alka Lamba, also spoke against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and suggested that the Congress should not have a tie-up with it in Delhi, sources said.
Kharge previously advised CWC members, state unit presidents, and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leaders to work together to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 general election as well as the five upcoming Assembly elections. He also urged them to be prepared for an election in Jammu and Kashmir whenever it is called.
In conclusion, Kharge asked party officials to diligently carry out the tasks assigned to them and reach out to voters, particularly those aged 18 to 25. He also asked them to inform the public about the party’s beliefs, for which a force of youthful speakers was ready.
Recalling Jawaharlal Nehru’s words that “rest is forbidden,” Kharge stated that everyone must work together to safeguard democracy and the Constitution and acknowledged them for their unity in submitting proposals to the party’s senior brass.
In his opening remarks, Congress President criticized the Narendra Modi government of diverting people’s attention away from core issues and urged party leaders to avoid such distractions and stay focused on the actual issues.
On the day the opposition INDIA bloc held its meeting in Mumbai, the Modi government formed a panel to explore the feasibility of the “one nation, one election” concept and “in contravention of all conventions, it also included a former president to fulfil its agenda”, Kharge said.
“This is not the time for us to rest…. We must unite and overthrow this dictatorial government to protect our democracy,” the Congress president said.
He said people are looking for an alternative and the Congress party’s poll victories in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka are a clear proof of this.
“We must work tirelessly, putting aside personal interests. We must prioritise the success of the party, putting aside our personal differences. We must exercise self-restraint and avoid going to the media with statements against our leaders or party so that the Congress’s interests are not harmed,” Kharge asserted.
Organisational unity is of utmost importance, he said and stressed that “only through unity and discipline can we defeat our adversaries”. This was evident in Karnataka where the party remained united and fought with discipline to achieve success, Kharge said.
“Our goal must be to defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha election and work diligently to form an alternative government in the country,” he noted.
Kharge said 2024 also marks the centenary year of Mahatma Gandhi’s election as the Congress president and the most fitting tribute to him would be to oust the BJP from power.
“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 upcoming elections, relieving people from the miseries of the BJP’s misrule,” he said.
Taking note of the challenges that lay ahead, Kharge said these obstacles are not just for the Congress as they concern the survival of democracy in India as well as the preservation of the Constitution.
The Congress president asked the state unit chiefs and legislature party leaders: “Are your committees at the mandal, block and district levels ready? Are we giving them regular programmes? Have we started identifying potential candidates?” He said in the last 10 years under the BJP’s rule, the challenges faced by the common man have multiplied. Prime Minister Modi, he alleged, refuses to address the concerns of the poor, farmers, labourers, women and youngsters.
The prime minister cannot look beyond himself, the Congress president alleged. “In such circumstances, we cannot remain mute spectators,” he said.
This was the first meeting of the reconstituted CWC under Kharge’s presidency.
Besides the regular members, permanent invitees and special invitees, the extended meeting of the apex decision-making body of the party included the state unit chiefs, CLP leaders, parliamentary party office-bearers and its Central Election Committee members.
The CWC meeting would conclude on Sunday with a mega rally in Tukkuguda, near Hyderabad, where the party would announce six guarantees for the Telangana Assembly polls. The rally would mark the occasion of Telangana National Integration Day, the day the princely state of Hyderabad merged with the Indian Union in 1948.
While the Congress MPs would return to Delhi after the rally for a special session of Parliament, the CWC members, state unit presidents, CLP leaders and other leaders will branch out to the various Assembly constituencies of Telangana on September 18.
Gearing up for the upcoming Assembly and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress had on the first day of the meet made a strong pitch for social justice and resolved to make the opposition INDIA bloc an “ideological and electoral success” to free the country from “divisive politics”.
During the first meeting of the reconstituted CWC, the party also called for the passage of the women’s reservation bill in the upcoming special session of Parliament, conducting a caste census and increasing the limit of reservation for the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
A resolution adopted on Saturday also rejected the idea of “one nation, one election”, calling it an attack on the country’s federal structure.
It is after years that the CWC met outside of Delhi, a move seen as an attempt to consolidate the support base in poll-bound Telangana and go all out to oust the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) from power in the southern state. (with agency inputs)