In the historical past of Congress’s chintan shivirs over the past two-and-a-half many years, the Pachmarhi consultation and the Shimla conclave — in 1998 and 2003, respectively — stand out for the diametrically reverse positions the celebration took at the factor of coalition and alliances.
In the continued consultation at Udaipur, too, the celebration appears to be ambivalent.
The reason why: the celebration is far weakened and the preferred opinion inside of is that the Congress has to regain its power electorally earlier than calling for opposition cohesion or rallying of anti-BJP events.
Mallikarjun Kharge, convenor of the gang discussing the celebration’s political line and place, was once forthright on Friday.
“First, we want to set right our house, and we want to make Congress people more active and powerful. Then we will go to others (parties). If you don’t have any investment, which partner will come (and say) that I will invest some money on you,” Kharge instructed the media.
He stated: “…whatever deficiencies are there…those things will be discussed. With some proposal we will come forward and whosoever accepts these principles we will go with them. We want to strengthen ourselves, and we want to unite our cadre — from block level, panchayat- and mandal-level…to the district level, we want to gain strength and then talk to others…”
As for an alliance in opposition to BJP, Kharge stated the celebration needs to take everybody alongside — “we will walk with those who believe in the secular fabric and constitutional values”. But first, he added, “we want to set our own house in order”.
At Pachmarhi, the celebration had declared that it considers the “present difficulties in forming one-party governments a transient phase in the evolution of our polity”. It asserted that “coalitions will be considered only when absolutely necessary, and that too on the basis of agreed programmes that will not weaken the party or compromise its basic ideology”.
In Shimla, 5 years later, the celebration gave a sign for cohesion of secular forces.
Kharge stated this consultation will give out a transparent message that nationalism and love for India is the Congress’s core philosophy.
“This is a fight between Indian nationalists versus pseudo nationalists,” he stated. “Those who stand with the principles of the Congress represent the Indian way of life and thought, which has sustained this civilisation for 3,000 years. Not the fake nationalism of BJP (and) RSS. It is the Congress party that adheres to the Indian path of rejecting all extremes. This Chintan Shivir will usher in a clear message that nationalism and love for India is the core philosophy of the Congress.”
He stated the political problem earlier than Congress is five-fold.
“First, we need to retrieve our wealthy legacy and heritage to encourage the adolescence. Second, we want to redefine our ideology to reassure celebration staff and supporters. Third, we need to reaffirm our dedication to the Constitution — of making sure liberty of idea, expression, trust, religion and worship; the federal construction; (taking alongside) the poorest and probably the most oppressed within the society.
“Fourth, we have to reclaim the Indian way of life and what it means to be an Indian. Fifth, we need to reinvent our politics to transform the party, society and the nation, including politics as a form of social service; how we connect to people on issues that matter to them; how we raise funds from people; how we tackle lies and distortions; and how we can lead initiatives that bring people together.”