Wardha: The Congress Working Committee (CWC) Tuesday called for a “second freedom struggle” against the Modi government to combat the ideology of “hate and violence”, saying the same reason had led to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Also Read - Vaccine, Jobs And Unemployment Allowance: High Political Drama in Bihar as Parties Wage Manifesto War Ahead of Polls
Holding its meeting at Mahadev Bhavan, Sevagram Ashram, in Wardha district of Maharashtra on the 149th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the CWC also condemned the use of force against protesting farmers on their way to the national capital and vowed to fight for their rights. Also Read - 'Unlike UP...': Rahul Gandhi Hits Out At BJP Over 'Gandhis Don't Care' Comment
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This was the second CWC meeting to be held at Sevagram after more than 75 years. The first one was convened in 1942 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi to adopt the ‘Quit India’ resolution.
Addressing a press conference, party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the CWC has passed two resolutions recalling the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi to the “Indian thought process, its soul and body”.
“(Former prime minister) Lal Bahadur Shastri’s call of ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ is not just a slogan but a way of life. We will continue to fight for farmers’ rights,” he said.
Surjewala said the second freedom struggle will be against the Modi government for practising politics of “hatred, divisiveness, fear, polarisation, crushing dissent and debates”.
“The Modi government is against India’s plurality and is indulging in politics of revenge, falsehood and betrayal. It is easy to talk about Gandhiji in speeches. It’s just political opportunism,” he said.
The CWC underscored the hypocrisy of those who vilified Gandhi and his thoughts, but are brazenly championing it now, he said.
“The second freedom struggle will be against the government that practices politics of hate, vendetta, threat, murder, intimidation, crushing healthy debate and dissent,” he said.
Referring to the use of force on the farmers on their way to Delhi, the Congress leader said they were seeking loan waiver, doubling of their income and a fair price for their produce.
“Five to 18 per cent GST is levied on fertilisers and farmers want it should be waived,” he said.
Surjewala said the Congress would never accept “such atrocities”.
“Farmers who had come to seek grievance redressal were beaten up and lathi charged. Water canons and tear gas was also used. We condemn the autocratic Modi government and the prime minister who is drunk with power. We express solidarity with the farmers and resolve to redress their grievances if voted to power,” he said.
Surjewala said those “appropriating” Mahatma Gandhi now cannot imbibe his values, thoughts, words and deeds. “For them, Gandhi is a political opportunity and not a way of life,” he alleged.
“They can only borrow Gandhi’s spectacles for publicity campaigns,” Surjewala said, adding that the Congress will expose “hollowness and double speak” of such people.
He said the CWC meeting has reiterated the party’s stand for ensuring that the rights of farmers are protected.
He said the ideological call given at the CWC meeting will serve as a “roadmap and guiding light” for the party to frame policies for the future.
According to Surjewala, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said at the CWC meeting that two ideologies were celebrating Mahatma Gandhi today.
“Mahatma Gandhi is in the soul of Congress, its thinking, path and vision. Ideology of (Nathuram) Godse which had killed Gandhiji cannot imbibe his thought,” he said.
The CWC meeting was presided over by Rahul Gandhi and attended among others by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
Sevagram, which means ‘village of service’, was named so by Mahatma Gandhi after he established his residence in Shegaon village near Wardha in April 1936.
(With PTI inputs)