NEW DELHI: Congress on Tuesday accused the BJP of conspiring to ‘break up’ India by dividing people on religious grounds and said the big old party would undertake ‘yatras’ across the country to unite the people.
The party gave the slogan “Bharat jodo” to unite India and a 75 km yatra will be undertaken after August 9 in the 75th year of India’s independence, chief spokesman Ajay said Maken to reporters here, after AICC general secretaries and officials held a meeting to shape the recommendations of the just-concluded three-day ‘Chintan Shivir’ in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
He said that ‘Bharat Jodo’ is not a unification of the land masses of India but it is about uniting the people of India.
Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi also called on the people to unite India and defeat the hate politics of the BJP.
“People’s problems – income, inflation; BJP’s problems – riots, dictatorship. If the country is to progress, BJP’s negative thinking and hate politics must be defeated. Together, let’s ‘Bharat jodo’ (uniting India),” he added. Gandhi said in a Hindi tweet.
Key Congress leaders including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, KC Venugopal, Randeep Surjewala and Maken were among the leaders who attended the meeting at AICC headquarters to develop an action plan for the rapid implementation of the “Nav Sankalp” statement made to the Shivir.
Venugopal said an informal meeting of AICC general secretaries and officials was held to discuss the execution part of the historic Udaipur declaration.
“A follow-up meeting will also take place tomorrow. We are determined to bring new-age reformed politics to your every doorstep,” he tweeted.
The multitude of structural changes that were announced by Congress during the three-day conclave will be implemented in the coming months.
The Secretaries General and AICC officials will meet again on Wednesday to map out the detailed plan for implementing the recommendations which include the “below 50” formula of granting party posts and tickets to young people, in putting a five-year cap on a person in a particular position, formulas “one family, one ticket” and “one person, one position”.
Sources, however, said the party’s recommendation to set a retirement age for leaders may not be implemented as the organization wants their experience to be used to groom the party’s young leaders.
Maken said all of those individuals in multiple positions within the organization and those who have held office for more than five years will be identified and that new congressional mandates and the establishment of new departments of public insight and evaluation will soon be formed, as recommended in the Udaipur Declaration of Partying.
He said the Congressional Electoral Authority, which organizes organizational elections, has been made aware of the new recommendations to give 50% representation to people under 50.
Internal party elections are underway and the Authority will have to conduct the elections in such a way that leaders under 50 are represented, as well as women and SC/STs and OBCs in party positions.
“The process has been launched and the recommendations of the declaration will be implemented in a time-bound action plan.
It’s not just a ‘Nav Sankalp’, it’s a ‘Dridh Sankalp’ (firm resolve),” Maken told reporters.
“We are going to follow it in the true letter and in the spirit,” he said.
He also said that in the constitution of Congress, the president has no term limit, but the general secretaries and other officers will have to leave office after five years.
Attacking the BJP, the senior Congress official said: “The BJP leaders who run the country have a wrong idea because they think that India is just a collection of geographical landmasses but that is in makes a union of people and when they try to divide between rich and poor and between religions, then the threat of India’s collapse is real,” he told reporters.
He said the issue of rising inflation with the Wholesale Price Index hitting a record 15.08% and the Indian Rupee falling to an all-time low even as Sri-like conditions Lanka are knocking on India’s door, the BJP deliberately raises polarizing issues to avoid discussion about them and divert public attention from these burning issues.
“When BJP leaders, maybe in their innocence or maybe as part of a conspiracy, divide people, they seek to break up the country,” Maken said.
“When they divide people on the basis of religion or caste, they break up the country, because India is just not a group of land masses, India is a group of people.”
Dalits and Adivasis, they feel cheated, because they don’t feel included in society, the Congress leader said.
“When this society, when the Indian people are divided, then India breaks. When you break people’s unity, the threat of India breaking up becomes more real.
We urge the BJP to review its functioning, the way it governs the country and divides the people,” he said.
“Please don’t divide people because it takes generations to unite people,” he said, urging the ruling party leadership to refrain from doing so.
He said that as the BJP splits the country, the Congress came up with “Bharat Jodo,” Gandhian Subbarao’s famous slogan “Jodo-Jodo, Bharat Jodo.”