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Rediff News  All News  » News » Congress to bank on Mahatma Gandhi to ensure 'BJP-free India' in 2019

Congress to bank on Mahatma Gandhi to ensure 'BJP-free India' in 2019

October 02, 2018 11:39 IST

The party will launch its ‘Sevagram Se Sangram’ likening its fight against Modi-led government to the freedom struggle against the British, reports Archis Mohan.

The Congress will mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Tuesday by embarking on a campaign to challenge what it sees as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts at appropriating the legacy of the father of the nation.

The Congress Working Committee, its highest decision-making body headed by party president Rahul Gandhi, is also set to recast the contours of its criticism of the Modi government. The meeting will see the party present a blueprint to revive Congress’s cadre base, spread the message of ideology and of Modi government’s failures, and unveil strategy of collecting donations.


After an internal review found that the controversy over Rafale fighter jet deal has limited resonance in rural areas, the Congress has decided that it should concentrate on campaigning about people’s issues, particularly price rise, steep increase in fuel prices, agrarian distress and urban unemployment. It isn’t that the Congress criticism of Modi government’s ‘crony capitalism’, of which it says the Rafale deal is an example, will not continue. But the party leadership could tone down its recent campaign of calling the PM “thief”.

This personal attack on Modi was to convince some of the PM’s support base among the youth that their leader had feet of clay, but the feedback from the ground has indicated that its older supporters didn’t appreciate the Congress indulging in such name calling.

The CWC will be meeting at the Mahatma’s Sevagram ashram, situated in a village in Maharashtra’s Wardha district. The Congress will also launch its ‘Sevagram se sangram’ campaign -- likening its fight against Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party, as also the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to the freedom struggle against the British.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Mahatma-led CWC had launched the ‘Quit India Movement’ against the British Raj on July 14, 1942.

“The BJP has taken the place of the British Raj,” Surjewala said. The Congress has attempted to draw 10 similarities between the British rule and Modi government.

It says the Modi government has followed in the footsteps of the British Raj by pursuing a policy of ‘divide and rule’ by engineering divisions between religions, regions and caste. If the British looted India’s resources, the Modi government has allowed those who have looted the exchequer to escape, the Congress says. It has likened farmer suicides due to agrarian distress to the forced indigo cultivation during the British rule.

As the Modi government will observe 150-years of Gandhi’s birth for the next one year, the Congress says it will showcase the “real Mahatma” to the world who has been reduced to “swacchata”, or cleanliness, by the PM.

For the next one year, the Congress will tell people about the Mahatma’s fight against untouchability and for temple entry of Dalits in 1932-33, his fights for the rights of farmers in Champaran and industrial workers in Ahmedabad and his lifelong commitment to communal harmony.

Archis Mohan