Congress vows 'new freedom struggle' against Modi govt, attacks RSS

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Oct 02, 2018, 08:17 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi. Photograph:(Twitter)

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The CWC had last met in Sevagram in March 1948 and before that under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 to adopt the 'Quit India' resolution.

Launching a scathing attack on the BJP and the RSS, the Congress on Tuesday called for a "new freedom struggle" against what it called the Modi government's politics of "polarisation and intimidation", as it held a meeting of its apex decision-making body CWC at a venue where 'Quit India' resolution was adopted in 1942 under Mahatma Gandhi's leadership.

Holding its meeting at Sewagram Ashram's Mahadev Bhavan in Wardha district of Maharashtra on Mahatma Gandhi's 149th birth anniversary, the Congress Working Committee, headed by the party chief Rahul Gandhi, also condemned the use of force against protesting farmers on their way to the national capital.

The CWC had last met in Sevagram in March 1948 and before that under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 to adopt the 'Quit India' resolution.

In a resolution adopted at the meeting, the Congress alleged the RSS had a "blatant hypocrisy" that vilified and rejected Mahatma Gandhi during his lifetime and it was now brazenly proclaiming itself to be his champion.

"It is its (RSS's) ideology that was responsible for spreading the atmosphere of hate that led to the Mahatma's tragic assassination," Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said quoting the resolution.

Another resolution adopted at the meeting condemned the use of force on farmers on their protest march towards the national capital from all parts of the country on Tuesday.

The CWS meeting was presided over by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and was attended by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh among other leaders.

The CWC resolution accused Modi government of "crushing debate and dissent" and "imposing artificial uniformity in a nation of extraordinary diversity".

Stating that a new freedom struggle is the urgent need of the hour, the resolution called for a massive movement to combat "the forces of divisiveness and prejudice, (and) to confront the Modi government whose politics is the politics of threat and intimidation, the politics of polarisation and divisiveness, the politics of crushing debate and dissent." 

The Congress accused the Modi government of pursuing the politics of "hatred, vendetta, deceit, fraud and subterfuge" and subverting all constitutional values.

In a veiled reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, the resolution said that "appropriating" Mahatma's legacy may be politically expedient for some, "but imbibing his principles and values in thought, word and deed is impossible for those who see in the Mahatma only electoral opportunities".

"One may borrow the Mahatma's spectacles for publicity campaigns, but implementing his vision will remain unfulfilled unless his principles are followed," the resolution said in an apparent reference to the logo for the government's 'Swachh Bharat' campaign.

The CWC resolved to expose "the hollowness and doublespeak of the ideologies and organisations who have never believed in, let alone followed the Gandhian path of truth, tolerance, harmony and non-violence".

The CWC also paid tribute to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his birth anniversary.

"'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' is not a slogan but a cardinal principle of faith for the Congress party," it stated.

The Congress, which has been trying to project itself as the pivot to head a united front against the BJP in future polls, said it embodies the true ethos of inclusive and secular "Bharat".

"It is only the Congress that is deeply committed to the principles of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. The CWC resolves that this fundamental message must be renewed and propagated to all corners of India, especially to the younger generation, by every member of the Congress party," the resolution stated.

The Congress further said the "ideological battle" has to be unswerving, irrespective of elections.

It called upon the people to fight the politics of "fear, intimidation, lies and deception without "bending".

It also recalled Sevagram having served as the "karmbhoomi" of Mahatma Gandhi for over a decade from the time he set up his ashram there in April 1936 and also holsted the CWC meeting which had adopted the "Quit India" resolution on July 14, 1942.

The quit India movement was launched a month later under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.

Referring to the use of force on farmers on their way to Delhi, Surjewala said they were seeking loan waiver, doubling of their income and a fair price for their produce.

"Five to 18 per cent GST is levied on fertilisers and farmers want it should be waived," he said.

Surjewala said the Congress would never accept "such atrocities".

"Farmers who had come to seek grievance redressal were beaten up and lathi-charged. Water canons and tear gas were also used. We condemn the autocratic Modi government and the prime minister who is drunk with power. We express solidarity with the farmers and resolve to redress their grievances if voted to power," he said.

The CWC also passed a resolution condoling the recent demise of party leaders R K Dhawan and Gurudas Kamat.