Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress,
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said the deteriorating situation in Manipur is of grave concern to the Congress and it will do everything to foster peace and resolve issues in the border state. File photo

Nation facing toughest challenge in 75 years, BJY brought hope: Kharge

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday (February 24) said his party looks forward to forging a viable alternative by aligning with like-minded parties to defeat the “anti-people” BJP government in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

In his address at the Congress 85th plenary session, Kharge said the country is facing challenges such as continued assault on constitutional and democratic values, issues of national security at the border with China, all-time high inflation and record unemployment.

“In the prevailing difficult circumstances, the Congress is the only party in the country that can provide capable and decisive leadership,” he asserted.

Expressing gratitude towards members of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) for investing faith in him and electing him as the party’s president, Kharge promised that he will always fight for the betterment of the party.

He said that the Congress party is unique in its approach, where a person who once served as the president of a block Congress unit is now leading the national party.

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Kharge thanked former party president Rahul Gandhi, and said that amid an environment of despair and negativity, Rahul tried to spark a ray of hope with the Bharat Jodo Yatra. The yatra witnessed millions of people holding the national tricolour joining Rahul in his mission, which highlights that only Congress can comprehend the obstacles faced by the country, he added.

“In current times, the nation is facing its toughest challenge in the last 75 years. The need of the hour is for a new movement, which requires every Indian to pledge to serve, struggle, and sacrifice for the country’s betterment. The current government is pushing the country towards chaos. The social fabric of the nation is under pressure, and constitutional institutions are being misused,” said Kharge.

Alluding to the unemployment situation in the country, Kharge said that youth unemployment is soaring, and businesses are struggling due to a faulty GST.

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“It is our responsibility to fight for the nation’s unity and bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. The rise in prices has made it challenging for households to survive, while a friend of the Prime Minister earns ₹1,000 crore per day. Three-fourths of MSMEs are not earning any revenue, while this friend of the PM has increased his wealth by 1000%,” he said, harping on the party’s allegations of a nexus between the Modi government and industrialist Gautam Adani.

“The government is selling Railways, BHEL, and SAIL, creating anxiety amongst millions about the fate of LIC and SBI. Everything that we built is being sold by the current government, one by one,” Kharge added.

Currently, there is a struggle for dignity and security among Dalits, Adivasis, and backward classes, and the government is not paying attention to their plight. Scholarships have been abolished, and it seems that the government is not allocating funds for education and food security, said Kharge.

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Accusing the Modi government of doing little for the marginal sections of society, Kharge said the Centre is silent even though China is usurping swathes of Indian territory.

“This government’s DNA is anti-poor, and it appears to be attacking institutions and the people while bending its knee before China, which is usurping Indian land. The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister’s statements on the India-China conflict demonstrate the government’s incompetence.”

“The Congress party aims to work with like-minded parties to create an alternative that focuses on creating employment, controlling inflation, bridging the gap between the rich and the poor, ensuring fair prices for farmers, eliminating communal disharmony, and protecting neglected and marginalized groups,” added Kharge.

Finally, a thanksgiving note was read by Chhattisgarh-in-charge Kumari Selja to honour Sonia Gandhi for leading the Congress party for 22 years.

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