New Delhi: The Congress today resolved to adopt a "pragmatic approach" for cooperation with all like-minded parties and evolve a common workable programme to defeat the BJP-RSS in the 2019 general election. This indication of a pre-poll tie-up comes in the wake of efforts by the Congress to evolve a consensus among various opposition parties to unitedly take on the might of the BJP.
In its political resolution moved at the party's 84th Plenary Session, the Congress today launched a scathing attack on the BJP-RSS, saying the country's core constitutional values are under attack and freedom of all is in jeopardy, with institutions under stress and their independence compromised.
"A resurgent Congress alone shall win back the idea of India as envisioned by the founding fathers of our nation," reads the draft resolution moved at the conclave by senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
The party said it was prepared for making sacrifices required to defend the ethos of the Constitution and "we will purge the polity of the aberrations witnessed during the BJP regime, which has failed to honour its commitments to the people of India".
The party also gave a clarion call to its rank and file to rise to the occasion and defend the foundational values of the Republic and constitutional democracy.
The resolution said at a time when the country stood at the crossroads, facing the threat posed by 'authoritarian, divisive and disruptive forces' the Congress is committed to serve the people of India with its illustrious history and legacy that represent multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious India.
The party said that under the BJP regime, the people of the country, be it farmers, labourers, unorganised sector workers, self-employed, dalits, traders, minorities and the poor have been betrayed. The political resolution called for reverting to the old practice of paper ballot as adopted by other major democracies to help restore the credibility of the electoral process. This, it said, was necessary as there were misgivings on misuse of EVMs to 'manipulate the outcome contrary to popular verdict'.
It also said that the BJP's move of simultaneous elections is 'misplaced' and is 'incompatible with the Constitution as also impractical. "It will have serious implications, which must be thoroughly enquired into, and a national consensus built," it said.
Facing the challenge of defections in the party, with BJP poaching many of its leaders, the party sought debarring defectors from contesting elections for six years to check the 'brazen misuse of money power to create political instability'.
The party hit out at the BJP-RSS ideology, alleging that it was creating an environment of 'distrust, fear and intimidation' in pursuit of their 'insidious and divisive agenda'. "The Congress condemns the BJP government for brazen abuse of power and misuse of central agencies for targeted political vendetta to harass, humiliate and persecute its political opponents. The Congress party warns the BJP and its government that its undemocratic methods and acts to curtail liberty, freedom of expression and violation of fundamental rights of its citizens as enshrined in the Constitution will be strongly resisted," the resolution said.
On corruption, the party said that the BJP government 'lacks sincerity in fighting corruption, to ensure transparency and accountability. This is underscored by its non-appointment of Lokpal'. The party also said the judicial system needed urgent reforms for effective and timely dispensation of justice and said the huge pendency of cases and providing affordable justice remains a big challenge that needs to be addressed.
The resolution also called upon the media to restore the balance in national narrative to safeguard democracy. The political resolution also talked about deteriorating internal and external security environment, youth, women empowerment and social justice.
It also highlighted the atrocities on dalits, minorities and tribals, alleging that they are living under the general fear of insecurity under the BJP rule.