Chintan Shivir important for Congress to take corrective measures: Mallikarjun Kharge

Chintan Shivir is important for Congress to take corrective measures and decide a road map ahead.

Published: 03rd May 2022 07:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd May 2022 04:03 PM   |  A+A-

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha M Mallikarjun Kharge told 
Bansy Kalappa and Ramu Patil that various aspects related to the party including corrective measures required to be taken and a road-map for the party will be discussed during the three-day “Chintan Shivir” in Udaipur from May 13. This will be attended by top leaders of the party from across India. Excerpts of the interview:

How important is Chintan Shivir? Can we expect any major decisions?

Chintan Shivir is important for Congress to take corrective measures and decide a road map ahead. We are analysing in-depth the reasons for our failures and shortcomings during the recent elections. We are looking at all aspects, and based on the analysis, we will decide the future course of action. Our leadership is capable of taking appropriate decisions at an appropriate time.

How will you factor in recent assembly poll results as you prepare to face polls in Gujarat, HP, Karnataka and MP ahead?

Our party is analysing what are the factors that caused the defeat in the states. This will also be discussed in the Chintan Shivir. All leaders from all states are attending the Chintan Shivir. We will take these issues seriously. Congress president Sonia Gandhi has spoken to Pradesh Congress Committees (PCC) presidents and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leaders, and taken suitable action. Changes have been made in certain states. As and when issues come up in the party forum we will take action suitably.

What does Congress need to do to come to power in 2024? When will the organisational elections be held?

As far as coming to power in 2024 is concerned, we must expose the lies and fake propaganda of the BJP with truth. And I hope the media plays an unbiased role in this because in the last few years a section of the media has acted like spokespersons of the BJP. I hope the media stands by the truth and exposes lies.We should go to village-to-village, door-to-door, and person to person, and expose misdeeds of the BJP government across the country, and also strengthen the organizational structure at grassroots level by bringing in more youth and women. The organisational elections were supposed to be held in 2020, but we all know that the last two years have been very difficult because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The process of organizational elections will be completed by September.

What happened to Prashant Kishor joining the Congress Party?

The Congress party unanimously and democratically reposed their collective faith in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi at the last All Indian Congress Committee (AICC) meet. The decisions of the party are taken collectively by the party members and they are all behind our leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. They have led the party through difficult times and made the biggest personal sacrifices. And the entire party believes that only Rahul Gandhi can challenge the bigotry and hate politics of Narendra Modi. Prashant Kishor himself has praised Sonia Gandhiji for her leadership. He made certain suggestions which would be considered appropriately at the right time. Joining the Congress party by him is a personal matter. Prashanth Kishor is a professional consultant and he has offered his services for the Congress Party. We have taken his consultancy seriously. He wants to continue as a professional, and we appreciate his decision.

Amrinder Singh versus Navjot Singh Sidhu cost the Congress the state of Punjab. Will Siddaramaiah versus DK Shivakumar cost you Karnataka in 2023? 

Differing views have to be solved democratically — through dialogue and discussion. In BJP, every single person is forced to worship the PM, and nobody dares say a word against his decisions, fearing consequences. Coming to the point of differences affecting election outcomes, election results are determined by many factors. Some people may choose to go for greener pastures eyeing ministerial berths or under pressure. This is Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru’s party, and we will steadfastly believe in democracy. I remember Baba Saheb Ambedkar in his last speech in the Constituent Assembly had said; “Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.

NCP president Sharad Pawar is seeking a larger secular alliance against BJP. Your views?

He is right. The need of the hour is for all democratic secular parties to come together with Congress in defeating the divisive and communal agenda of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which is being spread like wildfire. We will also try to bring other parties who are willing to fight communal forces to protect democracy and the Constitution.


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