New Delhi: The Congress today decided that it would forge workable alliances with like-minded parties as part of efforts to get battle-ready for 2019 general election, with its chief Rahul Gandhi asserting that the country was "fatigued" and only his party could show the way forward.
The party, at its 84th plenary session that began on Saturday, adopted a political resolution that said it will take a "pragmatic approach" while striking electoral pacts.
The indication of a pre-poll tie-up comes in the wake of efforts by the Congress to evolve a consensus among various opposition parties to unitedly take on the BJP.
The Congress has been seeking to unite all opposition parties under one common platform to defeat the BJP in the next elections.
Some leaders at the conclave said no one can stop Rahul Gandhi from becoming the prime minister in 2019 and a beginning of a new era has been made.
Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi gave a fiery speech at the plenary session. She launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his government was “power-drunk” and the pre-poll promises of combating corruption and ensuring inclusive development were mere "dramebaazi".
Sonia Gandhi exhorted Congress workers to support party chief Rahul Gandhi and be ready for any kind of sacrifice to strengthen the organisation. She asked the workers to free the country of "discrimination, vendetta politics and arrogance".
“We are exposing Prime Minister Modi and his colleagues' false claims, frauds and corruption with proof. People have now understood that the 2014 promises of 'sab ka saath, sab ka vikas' and 'na khaoonga, na khaane doonga' and his ‘Mann ki Baat' on radio are only 'dramebaazi' (theatrics) and a trick to grab votes and electoral power," she said, referring to Modi's promises of inclusive development and corruption-free governance.
“In the last four years, this arrogant and power-drunk government has left no stone unturned to destroy the Congress. They have used every trick in the trade, but Congress has neither succumbed before this arrogance of power nor will it succumb in future,” she said.
In his brief inaugural address, Rahul Gandhi said the country is in a way "fatigued" under the Modi dispensation and is looking for a way out. He asserted that his party alone can show the path forward. In a scathing attack on the NDA government, he accused it of spreading hatred and anger, and failing to create jobs and address farm distress.
The Congress party alone can unite the country and show the path forward, he said. The difference between the ruling dispensation and his party was that while they spread anger and hatred, “we spread love and brotherhood", the Congress chief said.
He also said the Congress under him would take the seniors and the youth together as the tradition of the party was to embrace change without forgetting its past and legacy.
"If the youth will take the Congress party forward, the party will not move forward without the experienced leaders. So, my task is to unite the seniors and the youth, to give a new direction," he said.
“The country is in a way fatigued, is looking for a way out. And I am saying this from the bottom of my heart, that only the Congress can show the path forward," he said.
Rahul Gandhi said the party's work was to unite people and the Congress's 'hand' symbol was the only symbol that can do so.
"A resurgent Congress alone shall win back the idea of India as envisioned by the founding fathers of our nation,” the resolution, moved by senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and adopted at the session, said.
"No one has the power to defeat the Congress and only the Congress can defeat the Congress," he said.
The party said it was prepared to make sacrifices required to defend the ethos of the Constitution.
“We will purge the polity of the aberrations witnessed during the BJP regime, which has failed to honour its commitments to the people of India," the Congress said.
In another resolution, the party said if voted to power it would come out with a loan-waiver scheme for small and marginal farmers similar to that announced by the UPA government in 2009.
Adopting a resolution on “Agriculture, Employment and Poverty Alleviation” at the plenary session, the party hit out at the Modi government for its “flawed” and “anti-farmer” policies that caused an "agrarian crisis" in the country. The resolution charged the government of "failing" to deliver on its “lofty” promises and accused it of “duping” farmers “by making empty noises of doubling farm incomes by 2022”.
"The country's Constitution, democracy, unity, civilisation, secularism, judiciary, internal security, its farmers, minorities, small industries are under threat. So, in all, the entire country is under threat," said party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The plenary session that seeks to show the party the path forward and give vision and direction to it, was attended by top party leaders from across the country....