Hyderabad: All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday appealed to his party leaders to set aside personal differences and join hands to overthrow the BJP governemnt. Addressing the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, he stressed on unity and organisational discipline, and asked his partymen to take on adversaries with full might in the upcoming state and Lok Sabha elections.
“Party's goal must be to defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and work diligently to form an alternative government in the country,” said Kharge.
In a scathing attack on the Modi government, Kharge accused it of playing politics and distracting and diverting people from basic issues by bringing new ones.
He said party leaders should stay away from such distractions and remain focussed on real issues.
Congress to highlight social justice and welfarism
"Recently, during the Mumbai meeting of the INDIA alliance, the Modi government formed a committee on 'One Nation, One Election'. In contravention of all conventions, it also included a former President to fulfil its agenda," Kharge said.
The Congress chief called for remaining connected with voters and immediately counter the false narrative peddled by adversaries with facts, and added that the entire country was awaiting the message from this meeting in Hyderabad.
Elections, he noted, are scheduled in five states in the next two to three months, while the Lok Sabha polls are only six months away.
Kharge also said the party must be prepared for possible assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Congress-led governments in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan have "pioneered a new model of social justice and welfarism", he said and urged leaders to publicise these welfare schemes across the country.
Kharge asserted that the people are looking for an alternative and the party's victories in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka elections are clear proof of this.
Kharge urges leaders to excise self-restraint
"This is not the time to rest...We must work tirelessly, putting aside personal interests. We must prioritise the success of the party, putting aside our personal differences," Kharge told the leaders present at the meeting.
He also emphasised that leaders must exercise self-restraint and avoid going to the media with statements against their party colleagues or the party so that the organisation's interests are not harmed.
"Likewise, organisational unity is of utmost importance. Only through unity and discipline can we defeat our adversaries. This was evident in Karnataka, where we remained united and fought with discipline to achieve success," he said.
"Our goal must be to defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and work diligently to form an alternative government in the country," the Congress chief stressed.
Noting that there are challenges that lie ahead, Kharge said these challenges aren't just those of the Congress and also concern the survival of Indian democracy and the preservation of the Indian Constitution.
He said the challenge is to save the Constitution and the rights of SC/ST/OBCs, women, poor and minorities.
Claiming that the Congress had laid the foundation of the Constitution and democracy in the country, Kharge said that is why the onus of protecting them is also on the party. "For this, we have to fight till our last breath".
"I would like to ask the state presidents and Legislative party leaders present here: Are your committees at the Mandal, Block and District level ready? Are we giving them regular programmes? Have we started identifying potential candidates?" Kharge said at the meeting.
"This is not the time for us to rest. In the last 10 years under BJP rule, the challenges faced by ordinary people have multiplied. The Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) refuses to address the concerns of the poor, farmers, labourers, women, and youth; instead, he cannot look beyond himself," the Congress chief alleged.
"In such circumstances, we cannot remain mute spectators," he added.
Kharge urged leaders to unite and overthrow "this dictatorial government" in order to save democracy.
Observing that there are ups and downs in everyone's life, he said, "we must take care that we should not do anything out of our ego or our own self that should hurt the party interests".
He said no one becomes a leader without discipline and people will listen when their is discipline.
Noting that 2024 also marks the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's election as the Congress president, Kharge said the most fitting tribute to the Mahatma would be to oust the BJP from power in 2024.
"From Telangana, we will go with renewed strength and a clear message. We leave Hyderabad today with a firm commitment: to win not only in Telangana but in all upcoming elections, relieving people from miseries of the BJP's misrule," he said.
(With PTI inputs)