'We'll fight the Modi government politically': Congress set to launch all-out offensive against BJP
Though the Congress remained low-key on 19 December — the day the party President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi got bail from a Delhi court in the National Herald case, it has now decided to take the Narendra Modi government head on.
New Delhi: Though the Congress remained low-key on 19 December — the day the party President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi got bail from a Delhi court in the National Herald case, it has now decided to take the Narendra Modi government head on.
The party that was forced to go on the back foot after the rout in the General Election 2014 has adopted an aggressive strategy at multiple levels -- from its students’ wing National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) to Youth Congress and Women’s Congress to core party leadership – to take the BJP head on, whether on the floor of the Parliament or outside.
“We’ll politically fight out the BJP and the Modi government -- both inside the Parliament and outside by taking an aggressive stand on issues. This National Herald case is an issue of political vendetta. Now we’ve adopted a multi-pronged strategy to counter this government,” Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmad told Firstpost.
The Congress chose Monday to test the waters, as its youth wing staged a fierce protest outside the residence of Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi over the recent allotment of government accommodation to the BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
Following the newly chalked-out strategy of the Congress, more than 500 volunteers of the Youth Congress jumped the barricades shouting anti-Modi, anti-BJP slogans and burnt effigies. The protestors were later detained by the police.
Swamy is the petitioner in the National Herald Case.
With the winter session of the Parliament coming to a close on 23 December, the Congress has decided to challenge to the NDA government and its main party -- the BJP not only in the national capital but in the states as well by organizing protests and demonstrations, burning effigies of the BJP leaders including Prime Minister Modi, going to the masses with “the truth” and reaching out to a wider section, especially the youth through social media.
Amarinder Singh ‘Raja’, president, Indian Youth Congress said, “Today was the beginning of our strategy to take the Modi-government and the BJP head on. We won’t go for any compromise and fight this vendetta politics of the Centre against our leaders Soniaji and Rahul Bhaiyya. We won’t let Subramanian Swamy occupy his newly allotted residence in Lutyens’ Delhi.
The government has given it to him as a gift for levelling false charges against our top leadership. There’re still many MPs from Congress like Raj Babbar or from Aam Aadmi Party such as Dr Dharamvir Gandhi, who haven’t got Type-VII bungalows.”
“We’ll also stage protests against the Centre at state-level to apprise the public of the truth behind Centre’s political vendetta. The public should know the reality of Swamy, and the people behind him,” he added.
The party is looking at the enthusiasm and exuberance shown by its leaders and workers at 24, Akbar Road—the Congress headquarters in Delhi on 19 December as a ‘kind of resurgence’.
Prior to 19 December, it was decided that senior leaders and party workers from various states would come to Delhi and go for a ‘show of strength’ by hitting the streets in support of party’s top leadership and against the Modi government. But later, the Congress high command felt that it would lead to a huge gathering and sloganeering at court premises, which might go against them or paint a negative image amongst the public.
“There was a strict instruction from Soniaji to all Congress workers to honour the legal proceedings and keep the court appearance a low-key affair. Earlier, both our president and vice president had been telling us to be accommodative with the opponents, but now it has been decided to go aggressive. There’s a renewed energy amongst party workers and volunteers. We want to take an aggressive stance at all levels. In the Parliament, we demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe into the DDCA issue,” a senior leader said on condition of anonymity.
Congress leader KC Venugopal on Monday demanded a Parliamentary probe into alleged irregularities of the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's resignation in the Lok Sabha after the Question Hour. Jaitley rejected the charges against him as “baseless.”
The various wings of the party seem to be gung-ho about the changed approach. National president NSUI, Roji M John said, “Some of the recent wins by NSUI in the colleges and universities in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttarakhand have boosted the morale of our student cadre. We want to capture a bigger space with an aggressive strategy and bring more number of students into Congress ideology to counter the existing political situation in the country.”
On 13 May, Congress leaders will travel to Udaipur to attend ‘Chintan Shivir’, a three-day brainstorming session, to deliberate on several themes including political, economical, farmers, youth and organisational issues. The last such programme was held in Jaipur in 2013
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Like the BJP, the Congress too just concluded a conclave of its senior leaders called ‘Chintan Shivir’— coincidentally also in Rajasthan, at Udaipur
Addressing a tribal rally in Dahod, Gujarat, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the BJP-led government in the state had deprived tribals of their rights