Speaking at an impressive “Bharose ka Sammelan,” which marked the beginning of his party’s campaign for the November assembly polls, the seasoned Congress leader expressed confidence that his party would retain power in Chhattisgarh. However, he also underscored that it was crucial for the people to unseat the Modi government in next year’s general elections for a greater cause.
Kharge stated, “An alliance of 26 parties is poised to convene in Mumbai shortly to formulate strategies for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Congress is committed to sparing no effort to defeat the BJP-led government at the center, which, he asserted, has consistently taken advantage of opportunities to mislead the public.”
Touching upon the situation in Manipur, Kharge lamented that over 200 individuals had lost their lives, more than 500 were injured, and thousands were rendered homeless in the border state. Despite this, the Prime Minister had chosen to maintain an ominous silence and avoided addressing the humanitarian crisis in the state.
He added, “The opposition was compelled to introduce a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha because the Prime Minister, who claims to represent 1.4 billion people, evaded the issue. Even in response to the no-confidence motion, the Prime Minister sidestepped providing specific answers, referring to the Home Minister’s remarks on the Manipur situation. Instead, he resorted to evasive tactics, deriding the Congress and its leaders. Such a passive approach is unbecoming of the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy.”
Accusing the BJP of perpetuating a narrative that nothing positive had occurred during the 70 years of Congress rule, Kharge rebutted by highlighting that even top BJP figures, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, had received their education in institutions established during Congress’s tenure. He pointed out that the BJP’s rhetoric insinuates that schools, colleges, hospitals, and other vital infrastructure emerged only after the Modi government assumed power. Kharge noted that public sector undertakings, airports, ports, and other significant developments, which were initiated after India’s independence, were now being sold off.
“People will not forget the contributions of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and the Congress to the nation. Similarly, people will not overlook the actions of the BJP,” Kharge asserted, underscoring that the Congress was unafraid of the BJP’s tactics and was committed to restoring peace, unity, and harmony in the country.
Kharge commended the Bhupesh Baghel government for its pro-poor policies and welfare initiatives implemented over the past four and a half years. He emphasized that the Congress administration had taken care of various sections of society, including farmers, the impoverished, and those in need.
Addressing the audience, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel criticized the BJP government at the centre for deploying agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax Department, and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to conduct an excessive number of raids in a smaller state like Chhattisgarh. He alleged that the Modi government aimed to favor friends with interests in the state’s abundant natural resources, such as iron ore, coal, and bauxite.
Baghel added, “After ruling for 15 years, the BJP has been reduced to a state of insignificance and lacks the capacity to revive itself in Chhattisgarh. The people of the state are well aware of the party’s standing.”
AICC General Secretary Kumari Shelja, Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha Speaker Dr. Charandas Mahant, and Home Minister Tamradwaj Sahu, who also spoke at the convention, highlighted the Congress government’s welfare schemes. They expressed confidence that the Congress would emerge victorious once again in the upcoming elections.