‘New’ Congress stresses on unity in party ranks, pledges alliances with ‘like-minded’ parties ahead of 2024 LS polls

Nava Raipur: As its three-day plenary session ended on Sunday here, the Congress made a pitch for “new” party and stressed on unity as well as discipline in its ranks, while pledging to forge alliances with “like-minded” parties to defeat the BJP in the 2024 general elections.

Top party leadership attacked the Centre over Adani issue, saying it would keep raising questions on the business group till the truth comes out as it likened the conglomerate to British East India Company.

Ahead of key polls in six states and the 2024 general elections, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi singalled party cadres to keep stepping up the offensive on the Adani issue and Chinese transgressions along the LAC, and urged them to build on the success of the just concluded Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Gandhi appealed to party chief Mallikarjun Kharge to formulate a new plan to carry forward the “tapasya” (penance) undertaken through the Bharat Jodo Yatra and that he, along with the entire country, will participate in it, indicating another such initiative in the near future.


Congress party chief Mallikarjun Kharge : PTI

After Gandhi’s comments, Congress general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh told PTI that the Congress is considering a Pasighat-to-Porbandar yatra (east to west), but said its format could be a bit different from the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

In his remarks, Gandhi also clearly signalled the centrality of the Adani issue to the Congress campaign ahead of poll season.

On China, Gandhi fired salvos at External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for his recent remarks on the bigger size of the Chinese economy compared with India’s and quipped that the remarks were reflective of V D Savarkar’s ideology of “bowing before the strong” and smacked of “cowardice, not nationalism”.

In his concluding remarks at the plenary, Congress president Kharge said as the party is facing several challenges, what is needed is unity, discipline and determination.

He said the session may be ending but it heralds the beginning of a “new Congress”.

“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,” he said.

“Our conduct at the national level will have an impact on crores of party colleagues at every level,” the Congress chief added.

Adopting the “Raipur Call to Action” at the 85th plenary, the Congress gave a call to party leaders in poll-bound states to work with unity to ensure victory that will “set the tone” for 2024 Lok Sabha polls even as it showed willingness to forge an alliance of “like-minded” parties.

In its five-point ‘Raipur Declaration’, the party declared that it is ready to work with “like-minded” political parties on the basis of a common, constructive programme to preserve and protect the Constitution and address the challenges before the country.

“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.

The Congress is the only party that has never compromised with the BJP-RSS and its despicable politics, the party said in its declaration.

“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,” the party said.

“To cement the foundations of social justice an immediate Caste Census is critical,” the declaration said.

In the “Raipur Call to Action” adopted at the plenary session, the party said the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi took forward an “inclusive and progressive” vision of India where constitutional values reign supreme.

“India awaits a reinvigorated Congress and we owe it to the people to fulfil their expectations. Crores of workers of the Congress party must build on the momentum of the Bharat Jodo Yatra to defeat the divisive forces of the BJP and RSS,” it said.

The resolution stated that a mass awareness campaign will be launched against the crudest example of crony capitalism which the entire country and the world is seeing.

“We end the Raipur plenary with a renewed resolve and common purpose to build a stronger and united India,” the party pledged.

The plenary saw Kharge’s election as Congress president being ratified and authorised him to nominate members of the expanded CWC without any elections to the top decision-making body.

The plenary also saw the party giving its nod to 50 per cent reservation in all party posts at all levels to SCs, STs OBCs and minorities as well as 50 horizontal representation to women and people below 50 years of age.

During its three-day conclave, the party made a slew of promises and reservations in internal party organisation for the SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities which is seen by political observers as the Congress’ attempt to re-establish and strengthen its support base among the marginalised sections of the society which has eroded in the last few years.

In her remarks at the plenary, party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, there are expectations from opposition parties to unite but most expectations are from the Congress.

The Congress adopted six resolutions during the plenary.  

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