Congress trying to revive organisational strength it once had: Manish Tewari

NewsDrum Desk
24 Nov 2022

New Delhi, Nov 24 (PTI) The Congress is trying to revive the organisational strength it once had and that is why it now has a new president in Mallikarjun Kharge who has been working at grassroots level, senior party leader Manish Tewari said on Thursday.

He said it is the strength of the organisation that helps candidates win elections, noting that he won the last Lok Sabha election due to the party workers, even when no prominent leader campaigned for him.

The former Union minister, who was part of the G23 grouping which has been critical of the party leadership in the past, said the Bharat Jodo Yatra is an attempt to "reintroduce and rejuvenate the moral imperative in our polity which has gone missing" and Rahul Gandhi is definitely making an attempt to do what he thinks is appropriate for the country.

The MP from Anandpur Sahib also said that if India did not have the kind of defence dependence it has on Russia, its position on the Ukraine war would have been different. Increasing the purchase of oil during a tensed situation, he said, "India can be accused of profiteering from the war".

"It is the party which fights the elections and it is machinery and organisation which helps people to win. When I fought the 2019 elections, nobody came and campaigned for me. It was actually the Congress workers who helped me get elected and come to Parliament.

"The reason why the Congress decided to have a president who comes from the grassroots of the organisation is because that is the machine that needs to be strengthened," he said at the Times Now Summit here.

He also said that Kharge should be given a fair chance to execute what he thinks is essential for the revival of the Congress party.

Without alleging anything on the manner in which the Congress president's election was conducted, the Congress leader noted that there is always room to do better in a democracy.

Speaking on 'Indian democracy: Opportunities and challenges', he said the challenge that the Congress is trying to address is that it recreates that machine that it had, the organisational strength, whereby a candidate becomes immaterial.

"That's unfortunately been the organisation decay that we are trying to address...This is precisely the problem that we are trying to address," he said, adding that it is the reason the party has had this internal process play itself out.

Noting that the Bharat Jodo Yatra has a different imperative altogether, he said given the fact that it is getting response from the people and it is resonating with people, the Congress plans to have an East-West Yatra to cover the entire country.

Asserting that it is not proper to link the Yatra and the electoral cycle, Tewari said, "Unfortunately, there have been deep artificially induced divisions which have been created in our social milieu over the past eight years. The Bharat Jodo Yatra is an attempt to reach out to people and see that those divisions can be healed and the internal strength of India can be rejuvenated and revived." On India purchasing oil from Russia, he said, "If India didn't have the kind of defence dependence it has on Russia, our position on the Ukraine war would have been different. Upping the purchase of oil during a tensed situation, India can be accused of profiteering from the war".

The Congress leader said that had India been able to expand its defence alliances, then "our position on Ukraine would have been very different".

"It is all very good to justify our national interest entails that we take a position whereby we are able to protect ourselves. But if you extend that position to actually take advantage of war and fill up oil coffers then are you not profiteering from war and someone else’s tragedy," Tewari said.

He made this remark even as India has spoken up on human rights violations in Ukraine though it chooses to stay unaligned on the war. PTI SKC SKC KVK KVK

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