Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former party president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh attended the 84th Congress plenary session in New Delhi, March 17, 2018. Congress on Saturday, March 18, resolved to adopt a ‘pragmatic approach’ for cooperation with all like-minded parties and evolve a common workable programme to defeat the BJP-RSS in the 2019 general election.
Congress launched an attack on the BJP-RSS, saying the country’s core Constitutional values are under attack and freedom of all is in jeopardy, with institutions under stress and their independence compromised.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, in his inaugural address at the 84th Congress plenary session. He accused the Narendra D Modi government of spreading hatred and anger, and said the Congress was the only party that would take the country forward by fostering an environment of amity and love.
Gandhi said the Congress’s hand (its election symbol) is the only one that would unite India and take it forward, and reminded partymen that it followed the ideology of love.
Further added, difference between two was that while they spread anger and hatred, “we spread love and brotherhood”, we would take seniors and the youth together as the tradition of the Congress party was to embrace change without forgetting its past and legacy. “If the youth have to take the Congress forward, it cannot be done without the experience of the party veterans. My task is to be take them together,” he said.
President Gandhi said that crores of youth in the country, looking up to Modi, are not finding any anything as there were no jobs. “The country is tired of what is happening under the current government. Only the Congress party can show the way and heal divisions in the nation,” he said. “Come what may, this country belongs to everyone, every religion, every caste and every person and the Congress party is for everyone and we will not leave anyone behind,” he added.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge says, ‘A resurgent Congress alone shall win back the idea of India as envisioned by the founding fathers of our nation.’
The party said it was prepared for making sacrifices required to defend the ethos of the Constitution and ‘We will purge the polity of the aberrations witnessed during the BJP regime, which has failed to honour its commitments to the people of India.’
The party also gave a clarion call to its rank and file to rise to the occasion and defend the foundational values of the Republic and Constitutional democracy.
The resolution said at a time when the country stood at the crossroads, facing the threat posed by ‘authoritarian, divisive and disruptive forces’, the Congress is committed to serve the people of India with its illustrious history and legacy that represent multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious India.
Under the BJP regime, the Congress said, the people of the country, be it farmers, labourers, unorganised sector workers, self-employed, Dalits, traders, minorities and the poor have been ‘betrayed’.
The political resolution called for reverting to the old practice of paper ballot as adopted by other major democracies to help restore the credibility of the electoral process.
This, it said, was necessary as there were misgivings on the ‘misuse’ of EVMs to ‘manipulate the outcome contrary to the popular verdict.’
It also said that the BJP’s move of simultaneous elections is ‘misplaced’ and is ‘incompatible with the Constitution as also impractical.’
‘It will have serious implications, which must be thoroughly enquired into, and a national consensus built,’ it said.
Facing the challenge of defections in the party, with the BJP poaching many of its leaders, the party sought debarring defectors from contesting elections for six years to check the ‘brazen misuse of money power to create political instability.’
The party hit out at the BJP-RSS ideology, alleging that it was creating an environment of ‘distrust, fear and intimidation’ in pursuit of their ‘insidious and divisive agenda.’
‘The Congress condemns the BJP government for brazen abuse of power and misuse of central agencies for targeted political vendetta to harass, humiliate and persecute its political opponents,’ the resolution stated.
‘The Congress party warns the BJP and its government that its undemocratic methods and acts to curtail liberty, freedom of expression and violation of fundamental rights of its citizens as enshrined in the Constitution will be strongly resisted,’ the resolution added.
On corruption, the party said the BJP government ‘lacks sincerity in fighting corruption, to ensure transparency and accountability. This is underscored by its non-appointment of the Lokpal.’
The party also said the judicial system needed urgent reforms for effective and timely dispensation of justice and said the huge pendency of cases and providing affordable justice remains a big challenge that needs to be addressed.
The resolution also called upon the media to restore the balance in national narrative to safeguard democracy.