Udaipur: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday backed alliances for the 2024 national polls even as he said their priority was to first put their house in order and make the party stronger. “If we do not have money, why would anyone invest in our company?”
Kharge said the potential allies must be ideologically in sync with the Congress and believe strongly in secularism and democratic values. “We want to carry everyone with us,” said Kharge, who is also the Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha.
Kharge, who is in Udaipur for the party’s Chintan Shivir (brainstorming session), said Congress’s political challenges are five-fold. He added they first need to focus on their rich legacy to inspire the youth. “Second, we need to redefine our ideology to reassure our party workers and supporters. Third, we have to reaffirm our commitment to the Constitution, ensuring liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, the federal structure, the poorest and the most oppressed in society. Fourth, we have to reclaim the Indian way of life and what it means to be an Indian. Fifth, we need to reinvent our politics,” said Kharge, who leads the Congress’s committee on political issues
Kharge hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, its brand of nationalism and ideological issues it champions. “The people, who did not participate in the freedom struggle, are trying to teach us nationalism. If you are real patriots where were you during the Quit India movement [against the British colonialists in the 1940s]?”
He said from Lal Bahadur Shastri’s leadership during the war with Pakistan in 1965, to Indira Gandhi’s role in liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 to Rajiv Gandhi’s firm handling of the border issue with China , Congress has a stellar track record in dealing with national security issues.
A Congress leader called Kharge’s diagnosis correct. “But the implementation of the actionable points and the steps to revive the party would be extremely difficult… The party requires a massive overhaul in its organisation to sharpen its focus on fighting elections and boosting the morale of its cadres.”