Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday chaired the first meeting of the newly revamped Congress Working Committee (CWC), describing Congress as the ‘voice of India’ and calling party workers to rise and fight for India’s ‘oppression’ through Modi-led NDA government.
The meeting of the extended working committee, held in the Parliament annex, deliberated on the party’s strategy for the ongoing Monsoon Session and also for upcoming assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, besides 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
”As extended CWC holds inspiring discussion with great gravitas and depth on the issues before the nation, focus is on the ‘way forward’ for India – agriculture, youth, economy, internal/external security, SC/ST/BC/Women issues and integrity of institutions, ”AICC media incharge Randeep Surjewala said.
Rahul charged the BJP government at the Centre for ‘attacking’ institutions, Dalits, tribals, backwards, minorities and poor, reminded them of the role of Congress as the voice of India as also its responsibility of present and future.
Addressing the meeting of the CWC, announced by Rahul on July 17, chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party Sonia Gandhi, in a sharp attack on the NDA government, cautioned about the reign of ‘despair’ and ‘fear’ heaped upon India’s deprived and poor.
Gandhi pointed out that the rhetoric of Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed his ‘desperation’ reflecting that ‘reverse countdown’ of Modi Government has begun.
Supporting the effort by the Rahul to forge an alliance of ‘like minded’ parties in the Opposition to defeat BJP in the 2019 LS polls, she said, “we are committed to make alliance work and we are all with him (Rahul Gandhi) in this endeavour. We have to rescue our people from a ‘dangerous’ regime that is ‘compromising’ the democracy of India”.
Speaking at the meeting former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rejected the culture of constant ‘self praise’ and ‘Jumlas’ of Modi as against a solid policy framework for driving the engine of growth.
On the government claim of doubling farm income by 2022, he pointed out that it will require an agricultural growth rate of 14 per cent, which is ‘nowhere’ in sight.
On July 17, Rahul revamped the CWC and dropped veterans like Digvijaya Singh, Janardan Dwivedi, Kamal Nath, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Karan Singh. Veterans like AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma and Kumari Selja have been retained.
The new CWC includes 23 regular members, 18 permanent invitees and 10 special invitees. Incidentally, the party, which is seeking 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies, has three women among the regular members.
The permanent invitees include Sheila Dikshit, P Chidambaram, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Randeep Surjewala, Balasaheb Thorat, Tariq Hameed Karra and PC Chacko.
In today’s meeting sitting CMs of the Congress were invited, along with all former Congress chief ministers like Ashok Gehlot, Oomen Chandy, Tarun Gogoi, Siddharamaiah and Harish Rawat.