India awaits a reinvigorated Congress and the party’s workers must work with discipline, solidarity and complete unity to defeat the “divisive politics” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Congress said on Sunday in its Raipur Declaration that was adopted after its 85 th plenary session. It appealed for unity among party leaders in poll-bound states, including Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, as these elections would “set the tone for 2024 Lok Sabha polls”.
In its five-point declaration, the Congress once again reiterated that it was open to alliances with like-minded political parties on the basis of a common programme.
“We will always fight to protect our political values against the BJP’s authoritarian, communal and crony capitalist onslaught. We are prepared to work with like-minded political parties on the basis of a common, constructive programme to preserve and protect the Constitution in letter and spirit and to address the three main challenges facing the country: growing economic inequality, intensifying social polarisation and deepening political dictatorship,” read the declaration.
The party also asserted that the Congress was the only party that has never compromised with the BJP and RSS and their politics.
Setting the tone
“The coming year will see important State elections in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana. Party workers and leaders must work with discipline, solidarity and complete unity to ensure our victory. The results of these elections will set the tone for the all-important 2024 Lok Sabha elections,” the declaration said.
In his concluding speech at the plenary, party president Mallikarjun Kharge heralded the beginning of a “new” Congress, insisting that it could meet its challenges with “unity, discipline and determination”.
“Today, we have many challenges before us, but none that the Congress cannot deal with. What is needed is unity, discipline and determination. Our strength lies in the strength of the party,” Mr. Kharge said. “Our conduct at the national level will have an impact on crores of party colleagues at every level,” he added.
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Noting that many things change with time, he said that people’s aspirations and expectations change, and new challenges emerge but that could also lead to finding new approaches. “That is why it is said that the path of politics and social work never ends. We just have to keep going. Many of our generations have been walking on this path and will continue to do so in the future,” he said.