At the 84th Plenary Session of the All India Congress Committee held last week, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said that he is confident of party president Rahul Gandhi’s win in 2019. Calling Rahul Gandhi “a dynamic leader,” he said that unlike the leaders of other parties, the Congress chief walks the talk. "He not only does the talking but also listens to the woes of the under-represented communities like the farmers and the youth in backward classes. India looks forward to Rahul Gandhi’s inspired leadership,” he said, adding that for the past 133 years, the Congress has worked with the people of India and steered the destiny of this nation through testing times.

“Unlike some leaders we know, Rahul Gandhi does not just speak the Mann Ki Baath, but listens to the voice of the farmer, the young, and the voice of the exploited, he said.

BJP playing divide and rule

Pointing to the Congress agenda, he said that it has been evident that every time the party experiences a political low, hundreds of thousands of people from underrepresented communities would lose their voice. He took a dig at the BJP for playing the divide-and-rule game. “Today, the time is ripe to stand by the Constitution and launch a second freedom struggle from the communal and divisive forces,” he said.

The Hindutva forces borrowed their ideologies from fascist thought leaders of Europe, particularly that of Italy and Germany, he said. Whereas the Congress party goes back to the Indian roots—-4000 years to trace the true origin of the nation’s philosophy.

A nation which is confident of its entire past. A nation that does not segment its history into good and bad parts. A nation that treats all people equally irrespective of their gender, race, religion, or language, he said.

“The idea of an India we grew up believing in is an idea of a multi-cultural India—the one that did not depend on a single religion, language, or culture to call India a nation. The Congress party has firmly rejected the European concept of a nation which depended on a single religion and a single language,” he said.

Ever since 1885, since the Congress party came into being, it has always worked towards freeing people from slavery and monarchies to a people’s republic and unambitious effort to move millions out of abject poverty to a life with dignity, freedom, and justice, he said, adding that the party was always guided by the thoughts and philosophies of the freedom fighters and luminaries like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Sardar Vallabhai Patel.

Lauding the efforts of India’s third Prime Minister, he said that Rajiv Gandhi gave India the modern outlook and invested heavily in technology and democratic decentralization.

He also highlighted the efforts of the late Prime Minister’s wife Sonia Gandhi, who despite being an Italian, has always stood by Indian values. Siddaramaiah said that Sonia Gandhi played a vital role in the revival of the United Progressive Alliance in 2004, which restored the country's political stability.

Siddaramaiah pointed out that when the Congress was in power, the country’s economy during the decade saw an increase in average annual growth rate of 8.6%.

The Congress leader pointed out that the values that shaped India’s freedom movement are under attack by the present administration.

On the development brought forth by the Congress in Karnataka, the chief minister said that they never make promises that they cannot keep. “We don’t make false promises such as creating two crore jobs or crediting Rs15 lakh into a citizen’s bank account. Our promises are realistic, and of the 165 promises we made, we fulfilled 158,” he said.

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