Country fervently demanding change, says Kharge at CWC meet

New Delhi: Asserting that the country is seeking a change, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said on Tuesday that the ‘guarantees’ touted by the present government would meet the same fate as the ‘India Shining’ slogan of 2004.

Addressing the meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s top decision-making body, to discuss and approve the party’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, he urged all party leaders and workers to take every issue raised in the party manifesto to every village and town and to every household across the country.

Sources said the party’s Central Election Committee (CEC), chaired by Kharge, would discuss and finalise its candidates for the remaining seats in the evening. The Congress has so far announced 82 candidates for the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls beginning April 19.

“The country is fervently demanding a change. The guarantees currently being touted by the present government would have the same fate as that of the ‘India Shining’ slogan of 2004,” he said in his address at the CWC meet.

“All of us have a responsibility to ensure that our manifesto gets the widest publicity in different states and our commitments are taken to every household across the country and people at large,” he added.

Kharge also said that Congress workers in villages and towns will have to rise to take the party manifesto to every household.

The Congress president said whatever has been promised in the manifesto will be strictly implemented.

Before making promises in the manifesto, an in-depth deliberation has been made to ensure that these promises are implementable, he said.

“It is because of this very fact that, right from 1926, the Congress party’s manifesto has been regarded as a ‘document of trust and commitment’,” he said.

Kharge also lauded the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, saying through it the Congress was able to draw the country’s attention to the real issue of people.

“These were not just political yatras but will be noted for the largest mass contact movement in our political history. One can’t undermine the fact that nobody in our time has undertaken such a massive exercise. Both these yatras managed to take the issue of the people to the national centre stage,” he said, referring to the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the just concluded Nyay Yatra.

Kharge and former party chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi attended the meeting. Other senior leaders, including Ambika Soni, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, P Chidambaram, Digvijaya Singh, Ajay Maken and Kumari Selja, were also present at the crucial meeting, where Chidambaram read out the key elements of the party manifesto.

Chidambaram chairs the manifesto committee of the party, which has already presented a copy of the draft document to the CWC for its nod.

The CWC would grant its approval and give a final shape to the draft manifesto, which carries the five ‘guarantees’ for justice.

The party is fighting the elections on the issue of ‘five nyay’ (justices)—’Bhagidari Nyay’, ‘Kisan Nyay’, ‘Nari Nyay’, ‘Shramik Nyay’ and ‘Yuva’Nyay’—giving 25 guarantees, five for each nyay, which have been announced by the Congress president and Rahul Gandhi.