The Congress on Sunday, 24 February, gave a call to party leaders in poll-bound states to work with unity to ensure a victory that will “set the tone” for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls even as it showed a willingness to forge an alliance of “like-minded” parties.
In its five-point “Raipur Declaration”, adopted at the party’s 85th plenary session in Nava Raipur, the Congress declared that it was ready to work with “like-minded” political parties on the basis of a common, constructive programme to preserve and protect the Constitution and address the challenges before the country.
“The coming year will see important state elections in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana. Party workers and leaders must work with discipline, solidarity and complete unity to ensure our victory. The results of these elections will set the tone for the all-important 2024 Lok Sabha elections,” the declaration said.
The Congress is the only party that has never compromised with the BJP-RSS and its despicable politics, the party said in its declaration.
‘Will fight to protect values’
“We will always fight to protect our political values against the BJP’s authoritarian, communal and crony capitalist onslaught. We are prepared to work with like-minded political parties on the basis of a common, constructive programme to preserve and protect the Constitution in letter and spirit and to address the three main challenges facing the country: growing economic inequality, intensifying social polarisation and deepening political dictatorship,” the party said.
“To cement the foundations of social justice an immediate Caste Census is critical,” the declaration said.
The “Raipur Call to Action” adopted at the plenary session, the party said the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi took forward an “inclusive and progressive” vision of India where constitutional values reign supreme.
“India awaits a reinvigorated Congress and we owe it to the people to fulfil their expectations. Crores of workers of the Congress party must build on the momentum of the Bharat Jodo Yatra to defeat the divisive forces of the BJP and RSS,” it said.
Campaign against crony capitalism
The resolution stated that a mass awareness campaign will be launched against the crudest example of crony capitalism which the entire country and the world is seeing.
“We end the Raipur plenary with a renewed resolve and common purpose to build a stronger and united India,” the party pledged.
In celebrating diversity, equality and fraternity, the Congress presented a clear alternative to the BJP’s vision of India, the declaration said, adding that it will celebrate the centenary of the Seva Dal which will be an occasion to impart fresh energy into our mass contact programmes.
The party said its governments in Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan are models for the rest of the country and Rajasthan’s Mukhya Mantri Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima Yojana and Chhattisgarh’s Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana have set the bar for other states.
‘Congress delivered highest ever GDP growth’
Recalling that, from 2004-2014, Congress delivered the highest ever GDP growth, pulled crores of Indians out of poverty, and introduced many transformational rights-based legislations, such as MGNREGA, Forest Rights Act and National Food Security Act.
“The time is now ripe for a new vision to empower the nation’s producers and reboot the economy,” the party said.
It said the GST must be drastically simplified and significantly improved for the benefit of small businesses and traders, and GST compensation for states must be extended for another five years.
Besides, agricultural policies and reforms must be reoriented to place farmers and farm workers at the centre, and not only production goals, it asserted.
Noting that farmers must be safeguarded through measures such as debt relief and legally guaranteed MSP, the Congress said, “To ensure the fruits of rapid growth benefit all sections of the society, Sampoorna Samajik Suraksha must be introduced, especially a women-centric NYAY programme and a Universal Right to Health Act.
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