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Home / India News / Congress calls for ‘freedom movement’ to oust BJP government

Congress calls for ‘freedom movement’ to oust BJP government

The Congress resolution accused the BJP and RSS of ‘trying to appropriate’ Mahatma’s legacy for elections.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2018 00:02 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times, Sevagram (Maharashtra)
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior leaders during a public meeting on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Wardha.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior leaders during a public meeting on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Wardha.(HT Photo)

From Mahadev Bhavan in Sevagram on Mahatma Gandhi’s 149th birth anniversary, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Tuesday gave a clarion call for a “second freedom struggle” against the Narendra Modi government to combat “divisive politics and the ideology of hate and violence”.

The venue was ripe with symbolism because Sevagram ashram was where the Congress had held deliberations for its ‘Quit India’ call against British rule in 1942.

A resolution adopted by the party’s highest decision-making body also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) of “hypocrisy” for “trying to appropriate” the Mahatma’s legacy for electoral opportunities.

“The Modi government indulged in divisive politics and involved in spreading hate and violence”, a CWC resolution said, while vowing to thwart the BJP’s “disruptive” policies. “Such an atmosphere and similar reasons led to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi,” it said.

The Congress Working Committee passed two resolutions, recalling the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi to the “Indian thought process, its soul and body”, and late Lal Bahadur Shastri ‘s call of ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’, saying it was “not just a slogan but a way of life”.

Former prime minister Shastri’s birthday also falls on October 2.

The meeting was presided over by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and attended, among others, by United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

The CWC alleged that the RSS, which “vilified and rejected” Mahatma Gandhi during his lifetime, had today “brazenly proclaimed itself to champion his ideology”.

It said that appropriating the Mahatma’s legacy may be politically expedient for some, but imbibing his principles and values in thought, word and deed was impossible for those who see in the Mahatma only electoral opportunities.

“One may borrow the Mahatma’s spectacles for publicity campaigns, but implementing his vision will remain unfulfilled unless his principles are followed in complete essence. The Congress Working Committee resolves to expose the hollowness and doublespeak of the ideologies and organisations who have never believed in, let alone followed the Gandhian path of truth, tolerance, harmony and non-violence,” it said.

“Elections will come and go. But the ideological battle has to be relentless and unwavering. The Congress Working Committee rededicates the Indian National Congress to this sacred task.”

The Congress Working Committee called upon the nation to fearlessly defend and uphold India’s foundational values and idea of India, which Mahatma Gandhi stood for, lived for, and sacrificed his life for. It also called upon people to fight what it described as the politics of fear, intimidation, lies and deception and asked them to “never bend, to never stop; till we achieve our goal”.

The Congress said it will contest the 2019 general elections on these “mantras” to oust the government and the propagation of the ‘Sevagram Document’ will be the “dharma” of every Congressmen in the coming days, the party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala later told reporters.

After the meeting, Rahul Gandhi participated in a 3km ‘padyatra’ (walk) which culminated in a public rally at Wardha. Addressing the rally, he slammed the prime minister over the government’s “unfulfilled promises”.

The BJP responded sharply to the Congress.

“Rahul Gandhi has again played his tape recorder of falsehood. The problem with him his that every time he spreads falsehood, it gets exposed within minutes. He spoke on IL&FS issue and finance minister Arun Jaitley exposed him within minutes. He was also caught lying in Parliament,” said Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni, who is also the head of BJP’s media cell.

“The kind of politics that he has started is unprecedented in India’s history. No matter how much he tries to spread his falsehood, people have faith in Narendra Modi’s intent and his policies. The more Rahul Gandhi speaks, the more it strengthens people’s belief in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideology,” Baluni added.