The newly constituted Congress Working Committee (CWC), at its first meeting in Hyderabad on September 16, welcomed the “continuing consolidation” of Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) and resolved to make its “an ideological and electoral success”.
Claiming that the Opposition bloc has rattled the Prime Minister and the BJP, the resolution said, “The CWC reiterates the Congress party’s resolve to make the INDIA 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 Congress party also made it clear that it would refuse to get drawn into the Sanatana Dharma debate and reiterated its stance of Sarvdharma Sambhav or respecting all religions. While former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, said a source, referred to the issue as a “distraction,” senior leader Digvijaya Singh advised a cautious approach. Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi is said to have stressed on protecting the constitutional values.
The tone and tenor for the meeting was set by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s opening remarks that claimed that the country is facing “serious internal challenges”. He accused the Modi government of spreading the fire of violence from Manipur to Nuh in Haryana and it tarnished the image of a progressive and secular India.
Mounting a scathing attack on the Modi government for “failing on all fronts,” Mr. Kharge demanded that the process of the 2021 census should be immediately started along with a caste-based census to ensure health, education, employment and food security rights to the deprived sections.
He said the delay in holding the 2021 census had resulted in 14 crore people from being deprived of the right to food law and nearly 18% people being left out of the MGNREGA.
The 14-point final CWC resolution also demanded the passage of the women’s reservation Bill, called for increasing the existing upper limit of reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBCs, rejected any call for a new Constitution or a debate on its basic structure and claimed that the idea of “one nation, one election” was an assault on federalism.
The resolution also slammed the BJP for “insulting the sacrifice of the security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir by holding a celebratory extravaganza in the party headquarters to congratulate themselves for the G-20 success when a tragedy was unfolding”.
Referring to the upcoming special session of Parliament, Mr. Kharge cautioned party workers of the government’s “intentions” and alleged that “it wants a Parliament without the opposition” and mentioned about the government’s proposed Bill to have “complete control” over the Election Commission.
“Today, the country is facing many serious internal challenges. The whole world witnessed the heart-wrenching incidents in Manipur. Violence has been continuing there since May. The Modi government ensured that the fire of Manipur violence reached Nuh in Haryana. Due to incidents of violence there, communal tension spread in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi,” Mr. Kharge alleged.
“These incidents tarnish the image of modern, progressive and secular India. In these circumstances, the ruling party, communal organisations and a section of the media are adding fuel to the fire. It destroys the secular fabric of the country. We have to together identify and expose such forces,” the Congress chief asserted.
Mr. Kharge claimed the success of the three meetings of the INDIA bloc can be gauged from the attacks by Mr. Modi and other BJP leaders.
“After the Mumbai meeting of the INDIA bloc, the Enforcement Directorate, the Income Tax department and the CBI have been deployed by the government as part of political vendetta against opposition leaders,” he said.
Mr. Kharge also said that every time the Opposition questioned the government over policy and performance, it came up with new slogans and went on to describe the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, ‘U.S.$5 trillion economy’, ‘New India 2022’, ‘Amritkaal’ and ‘third-largest economy’ slogans of the Modi government as “empty words”.
“These are hollow words meant to distract the country from the government’s complete failure in controlling inflation, unemployment, raging violence in Manipur, widening inequality, and declining condition of farmers and labourers,” he said.