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Extended Congress CWC meet raises hopes

The meeting of the Congress Working Committee which concluded the other day was a source of energy and confidence not only for the Congress party workers all over the country but for everyone who wishes to see the end of the Hindutva-fascist rule at the Centre. The working committee held in Hyderabad had the distinction of being the first meeting after the reorganization of the party's apex committee. Also notable was the fact that the CWC was shifted after many years, to a venue other than Delhi and was with elaborate programs. Apart from these aspects in the convening of the meeting, what made the event stand out was the decisions and resolutions that emerged from the conclave. If the main agenda there was to explore the strategy to bring the sangh parivar to an end, it was no small feat that the Congress made bold to touch upon sensitive topics like reservation on which the party used to fear about burning its fingers. The new ways of Congress firmly declare that the party is in a preparedness to take on Modi and his allies, by rising above mere vote politics and putting for the principle-based policies. It can reasonably be hoped that the party workers, and the public will embrace this approach with enthusiasm.

The political scenario is that assembly elections may be declared in five states including in Telangana where the CWC meeting was held followed by a grand rally 'vijayabheri'. And in about six months Lok Sabha election is also on the cards. The strategy chalked out at the sessions can be assessed as those that will prepare the party and its rank and file for these elections that are going to be crucial for the Congress and for the nation at large. And the party president Mallikarjun Kharge called upon the workers to kick off a tireless effort targeting these. He also exhorted to leaders to set aside personal bickering of power and differences and to move forward in unity. The model he cited was that of Karnataka, which is hundred percent correct. When the party endeavoured with unity with the sole goal of bringing down the sangh parivar rule, the people rewarded it with absolute majority. And in the upcoming elections, states like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh do hold prospects of victory for the party. In 2018 the Congress had won polls and come to power. In Madhya Pradesh, later the BJP wrested power only because of internal tussle within the Congress. In Rajasthan too, similar squabbles caused trouble for the government. And the reason for the loss of power in Punjab was no different. It is to be assumed that the Congress is decided that it can no more afford a repetition of this. They have learned a lesson from the defeat and crisis of recent times. And that was the lesson that was heard in the 'Vijayabheri' rally. IN the reconstituted CWC, due to some leadershi changes and related actions, some outbursts were expected. But the fact that this time there were no such voices of dissent and the party is speaking in one voice against the atrocities committed by the sangh parivar in power, is a hopeful sign.

The CWC met in the backdrop of the opposition alliance INDIA beginning its more elaborate efforts with the Lok Sabha elections in mind. Within INDIA preliminary seat sharing talks and preparations for campaign have been discussed. What was seen at the CWC was more or less the reverberations of the co-ordination committee of INDIA. In other words the CWC session was one that conveyed the Opposition agenda to the party leaders and workers. When INDIA decided to raise issues including caste census as trump card against the Centre, the CWC has through a resolution demanded proportionate reservation; and both are mutually complementary. And they are also demands which have been suggested several times in the past as a way to eradicate inequalities. But at the same time, that is an area where the sangh parivar can maneuvre matters to create fissueres among the opposition parties. And if the Congress, in spite of that, was able to hold it up as a political stand, that party is giving no small hopes. In fact, the demand for proportionate reservation was one that was heard in the Bharat Jodo march of Rahul Gandhi. And if that has now become the official theme of the Congress, it speaks for hos far Bharat Jodi march has transformed the party. At the same time, the Congress has to pay heed to the internal criticisms that were heard at the CWC. Some members cited the party's silence in the attacks on the Muslim community who have been the primary victims of Hindutva fascism – which is one of the weakness of the party. The direct implication of that reproach is that the Congress has to veer away from the escape route of adopting'soft Hindutva' fearing that if its advocacy for Muslim causes would be portrayed as community appeasement. Therefore, the party leadership should be ready to take this criticism at its face value. Overall, the voices heard at the leadership meet do raise expectations. Undoubtedly, they will lend strength to INDIA alliance.

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TAGS:India NewsCongress Working Committee-CWCMallikarjun KhargeINDIAOpositionHyderabadassembly elections
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