Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of minimum government and maximum governance effectively means keeping the country in a permanent state of polarisation and brutalising the minorities, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said on Friday, according to ANI.
Gandhi made the statement on the first day of the Congress’ Chintan Shivir, or introspection meeting, at Udaipur.
She accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of dividing citizens, subverting the idea of unity in diversity, and intimidating and jailing political opponents.
“It [the slogan of minimum government and maximum governance] means wholesale re-invention of history, constant denigration of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, and a systematic move to destroy their achievements and sacrifices while glorifying the killers of Mahatma Gandhi and their ideologues,” Gandhi said.
BJP was making bureaucrats, civil society, corporate professionals and certain sections of the media fall in line through fear, she added.
Gandhi urged Congress leaders to keep the party above personal ambitions. She, however, said that changes in the party were the need of the hour.
“We aim to bring the Congress back to fulfilling the expectations that people have of us,” the Congress chief said, according to NDTV. “We move forward determined and with the promise to deliver.”
One family, one ticket
Meanwhile, All India Congress Committee General Secretary Ajay Maken said that the Congress may enforce a one family, one ticket proposal, PTI reported.
Maken said that while the party is keen on implementing the rule, a waiver can be considered for a second family member who has worked in the party for five years.
The three-day Chintan Shivir started on Friday in Rajasthan’s Udaipur. Around 400 delegates are expected to attend.
“Big changes are in store for the party organisation,” Maken said. “It will completely transform its working style going forward.”
The Congress could set up an assessment wing to regularly monitor performances of officer bearers, Maken said. The party was also planning to discontinue employing of external agencies to conduct surveys during elections, he added.
“The party is deliberating on setting up a public insight department to ascertain views of the people and carry out surveys for getting battle-ready for elections,” said Maken.
He also said that a proposal is being considered to reserve 50% of all party positions for members who are less than 50 years old. “We are also working on a mechanism for enforcing stricter discipline,” he said.
The meeting came in the backdrop of the party’s dismal performance in the 2022 Assembly polls in five states – Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. It lost Punjab to the Aam Aadmi Party and failed to wrest power from the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
The Congress has also been facing resistance from members of the Group of 23, or G-23, which comprises Congress leaders who have been seeking an organisational overhaul in the party since 2020.
Days before the Chintan Shivir, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had said that the party needs self-criticism but not in a manner that erodes morale and creates an atmosphere of “gloom and doom”.