Sonia says Congress must redouble fight for victims of government's 'worst excesses'
New Delhi, October 26, 2021
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today said the party must redouble its fight for those who are the victims of the government's "worst excesses" -- farmers, farm labourers, youth fighting for jobs and opportunities, small and medium scale businesses and the deprived sections.
"To make this promise truly meaningful, we must also make our organisation more representative of this cross-section of society," she said in her opening remarks at a meeting of Congress General Secretaries, In-charges of States and State presidents.
She also stressed the need for discipline and unity within the party. "Finally, I would to re-emphasise the paramount need for discipline and unity. What should matter to each and every one of us is the strengthening of the organisation. This must override personal ambitions. In this lies both collective and individual success," she said.
Gandhi noted that five States would be going to elections in the coming months and Congress workers and leaders were gearing up to take on these battles. "Our campaign must be founded upon concrete policies and programmes emanating from widespread discussions with all sections of society," she said.
Today's meeting was a follow-up to the meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) held on October 16, when the schedule for the party's internal elections was finalised. The party said on that date that it would elect a new president by October 2022.
"The detailed schedule for full-fledged organisational elections is already with you. The nationwide Congress membership enrolment programme begins on November 1, 2021 and runs through till March 31, 2022," she said.
Stressing that new members are lifeblood of any political movement, she said young men and women across the nation were seeking a movement that would give voice to their aspirations.
"It is our duty to provide them with a platform, as we have done for generations past," she said, going on to detail the steps that Congress leaders and office-bearers must take in this regard.
Gandhi also emphasised that training programmes for party workers were an absolute necessity. "The fight to defend our democracy, our Constitution and the Congress party's ideology begins with being fully prepared to identify and counter false propaganda," she said.
"We must fight the diabolical campaign of BJP/RSS ideologically. We must do so with conviction and expose their lies before the peopleif we are to win this battle. The AICC releases important and detailed statements almost every day on issues facing the nation. But it is my experience that they do not percolate down to our grassroot cadres at the block and district level. There are policy issues on which I find a lack of clarity and cohesion even amongst our state-level leaders.
"You must train our workers to take on the unceasing onslaught of malicious disinformation campaigns at the best of the BJP/RSS. And you must train our people to fight it while upholding and projecting the core Congress ideology," she said.
Gandhi said the Congress history bore witness to the fact that if an organisation is to succeed against injustice and inequality, if it is to effectively champion the rights of the marginalised, it must become a widespread agitation down to the grassroots.
"The Modi government has sought to erode our institutions so it may evade accountability, it has sought to undermine the core values of our Constitution so it can hold itself to a lower standard. It has questioned the very fundamentals of our democracy," she added.