Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leader Rahul Gandhi during the extended Congress Working Committee meeting, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 8, 2024.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leader Rahul Gandhi during the extended Congress Working Committee meeting, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 8, 2024.Photo | PTI

INDIA bloc must function cohesively both in Parliament and outside: Kharge at CWC meet

Kharge stated that the issues highlighted during the election campaign reflect those bothering the people of India and emphasised the need to keep raising them both in Parliament and beyond.

NEW DELHI: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge Saturday said the Lok Sabha poll mandate is a "decisive rejection" of the politics of divisiveness and hate, and stressed that the INDIA bloc must continue functioning cohesively both inside and outside Parliament.

In his opening remarks at the Congress Working Committee meeting here, Kharge also asserted that while celebrating its "revival", the party should pause a little as it did not perform to its abilities and expectations in some states. "Further, we could not repeat our performance in states where we had previously done well in Vidhan Sabha elections and formed the government," he said.

Separate discussions on each such state will be held soon, he said.

"We have to take urgent remedial measures. These are states which have traditionally favoured the Congress, where we have opportunities which we have to harness not for our own advantage but for the benefit of our people. This exercise I propose to hold very soon," the Congress chief said.

Kharge further said whether the party is in power or not, its work continues amongst people "24 hours, 365 days", and raise their issues.

The Congress Working Committee congratulated leaders and workers for their determination, willpower and resolve.

"People have spoken against the dictatorial and anti-democratic ways of the ruling party. It is a decisive rejection of the politics of the last 10 years. It is a rejection of the politics of divisiveness, hate and polarisation," Kharge said.

"I want to draw your attention to the fact that wherever Bharat Jodo Yatra went we saw an increase in the vote percentage and number of seats for the Congress party," he said.

Noting that the Congress won both the seats of Manipur, Kharge said the party also won seats in Nagaland, Assam, and Meghalaya.

"In Maharashtra, we emerged as the single-largest party. People from all walks of life supported the Congress party to save the country's democracy and constitution," he said.

Other than this, Kharge said the party also saw an increase in seats dominated by SC, ST, OBC, and minority voters, as well as seats in rural areas. Going forward, the Congress has to make its presence felt in urban areas as well, he added.

Kharge also hailed INDIA bloc partners, saying each party played its designated role in different states, and each party contributed to the other.

"Our determination is that the INDIA group must continue. We must function cohesively and collectively both in Parliament and outside," he said.

The issues that we raised in the election campaign are issues that are bothering the people of India. We have to continue to raise them both in Parliament and outside, Kharge said.

"We must be disciplined, must be united. The People have reposed their faith back in us in substantial measures and we must build on it. We accept this verdict with genuine humility.

"Whether we are in power or not, Congress party's work continues. We have to work amongst our people 24 hours, 365 days and raise their issues," Kharge said.

He also thanked farmers, organisations working for backward classes, civil society groups, NGOs, small groups of traders, lawyers, intellectuals, independent media and others.

He also cautioned leaders that the discussions in the CWC should remain within the party forum and there should not be a "running commentary" on what is being deliberated on at the meeting.

The extended meeting of the party's top decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), started at Hotel Ashok here.

Senior party leaders and members of the CWC, along with Congress Legislature Party leaders and Pradesh Congress Committee presidents from various states, will analyse the party's performance and suggest measures to strengthen the organisation.

The Congress's top brass, including party chief Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress general secretaries K C Venugopal and Jairam Ramesh, besides other leaders, were participating in the deliberations.

Kharge, who has convened the meeting, will also host a dinner for all the extended CWC members and party MPs at the hotel.

A meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party comprising all newly-elected MPs of the Lok Sabha and those of the Rajya Sabha will be held in the Central Hall of Parliament at 5.30 pm. 

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