The Congress top brass held their second round of deliberations on formulating a strategy for the upcoming Assembly elections and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls with party chief Mallikarjun Kharge stressing on unity and maintaining discipline to take on adversaries and ensure success.
In his speech on the second day of the extended Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting here, Kharge urged party leaders to set aside their personal differences to ensure the party's success and work towards forming an alternative government in the country.
Kharge told the CWC members, state unit presidents and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leaders to work towards the goal of defeating the BJP in the 2024 general elections as well as in the upcoming five assembly polls. He also asked them to be ready for elections in Jammu and Kashmir, whenever it is announced.
The Congress chief accused the Narendra Modi government of diverting people's attention from basic issues.
On the day the opposition INDIA alliance held its meeting in Mumbai, the Modi government formed a panel on 'One Nation, One Election' 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 save our democracy," the Congress president told the leaders.
He said the people are looking for an alternative and the Congress' victories in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka elections are 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 media with statements against our leaders or party so that the Congress' 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 all remained united and fought with discipline to achieve success, Kharge 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," he noted.
Kharge said the year 2024 also marks the centenary 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 BJP's misrule," he exhorted party leaders.
Noting the challenges that lay ahead, he said these challenges aren't just for the Congress as they concern the survival of Indian democracy and the preservation of the Constitution too.
"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?" the Congress president asked state unit chiefs.
He said in the last 10 years under BJP rule, the challenges faced by ordinary people have multiplied. The prime minister, he alleged, refuses to address the concerns of the poor, farmers, labourers, women, and youth.
The PM cannot look beyond himself, the Congress president alleged. "In such circumstances, we cannot remain mute spectators."
This was the first meeting of the reconstituted CWC under Kharge's presidency.
Besides regular members, permanent invitees and special invitees, the extended meeting of the apex decision-making body of the party included state party chiefs, CLP leaders, parliamentary party office-bearers and its Central Election Committee members.
In the evening, the Congress will hold a mega rally in Tukkuguda near Hyderabad on the occasion of Telangana National Integration Day which marks the day when the princely State of Hyderabad merged with the Indian Union in 1948.
At the rally, the party will announce six guarantees for the Telangana assembly elections.
While the Congress MPs would return to Delhi after the rally for the special session of Parliament, other leaders, CWC members, state unit presidents and CLP leaders will branch out to the various assembly constituencies.
Gearing up for the upcoming Assembly and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress on Saturday 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".
After about five hours of deliberations at 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 SCs, STs and OBCs.
The resolution also rejected the idea of "one nation, one election", calling it an attack on the federal structure.
The CWC resolution on Saturday also reiterated the Congress' demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani issue.
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 from power in the state.
The CWC "wholeheartedly" welcomed the continuing consolidation of the INDIA alliance, claiming it has already rattled Prime Minister Modi and the BJP.
"The CWC reiterates the Congress party's resolve to make the INDIA (bloc) initiative an ideological and electoral success so that our country is freed from divisive and polarising politics, the forces of social equity and justice are strengthened, and the people get a Union Government that is responsible, responsive, sensitive, transparent and accountable," the resolution read.