To Congress workers - Raise the issues of the public and hold the government accountable

To Congress workers - Raise the issues of the public and hold the government accountable

Excerpts of the Congress President Shri Mallikarjun Kharge’s speech at Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) Meeting at the Parliament House on June 8, 2024

Friends, I welcome all of you MPs in the first meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party after the elections.

I congratulate all the newly elected MPs on their victory. All of you fought and won the elections in these adverse circumstances. The ruling party closed the accounts of the Congress, many leaders were harassed by misusing government institutions. In such a situation, special congratulations for getting elected.

The Prime Minister and many ministers, BJP leaders spread lies about our Manifesto. Through his speeches, the Prime Minister worked to spread hatred and divide the voters.

I thank the Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi ji for her valuable guidance. While chairing the CPP, in Parliament and as the Party President, she led us throughout for years. Rahul Gandhi’s historic ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ gave new direction and strength to the election campaign of the Congress. I thank him.

No party got absolute majority in 2024. BJP sought votes in the name of one person-one face. But the mandate was against them.

From the very beginning, the Congress Party made threats to the Constitution and democracy, misuse of constitutional institutions, inflation, unemployment, the plight of farmers and workers and the problems of the poor its main issues.

Under the leadership of CPP President Sonia Ji, we kept raising these issues in Parliament. We kept protesting outside. A lot of hard work was done, only then these became people’s issues. Due to Sonia Ji’s charismatic leadership, hard work and experience, we benefited from good coordination with the allies. A cordial atmosphere was created among the MPs of different parties to run the Parliament smoothly.

Friends, all of you have got an important opportunity. The public has sent you to the biggest Panchayat of the country. The people of your area have a lot of expectations from you, which you have to live up to. The responsibility that the public has given to the Congress Party, you and we have to fulfill it together.

In the last 10 years, the rights of the opposition in Parliament have been constantly limited. Be it asking questions, asking for time for discussion, sending bills to committees, drawing the attention of the government to burning issues, BJP has created obstacles at every step. They have stopped the opposition with their huge majority. They even made fun of our strength.

Modi Ji does not want the opposition to raise public issues in the House. He considers it an insult to answer the questions of the opposition. When Modiji was touching the Constitution to his forehead yesterday, he forgot how he has violated the constitutional traditions in the last 10 years. He has weakened the Parliament and constitutional institutions. He has insulted them.

Last time in the winter session, 146 MPs of opposition parties were suspended because they were demanding a discussion on the security of the Parliament. Dozens of important bills were passed without debate in the Modi government. Bills like the three black agricultural laws, labor code, criminal law, etc. were passed amidst chaos. We fought with discipline even then. We know what our responsibilities are in the opposition. Once again, you and I will raise the voice of the people with renewed strength. We come to Parliament not for obstruction but for discussion and dialogue. We want positive intervention, but Modiji creates deadlock even while being in power. This conspiracy of the government has been going on for 10 years. They themselves create deadlock and try to make us guilty in the eyes of the public. Therefore, we have to be cautious of these tricks of theirs.

Before concluding, I would like to tell you that this government would like the Parliament to run as little as possible. In terms of the number of sittings of the last 17th Lok Sabha, it was the shortest Lok Sabha since 1952. And in 5 years, only 274 sittings were held.

Many people are talking about Nehru Ji these days, but I would like to remind you that during Nehru Ji’s time, 677 sittings were held in the first Lok Sabha, deliberate discussions were held. Sonia Ji is sitting here. She was the Chairperson of the UPA. There were 332 meetings of Lok Sabha in UPA-1 and 356 meetings in UPA-2. All of you colleagues have to remain connected with the public. And also ensure that the public also remains connected with you. You should constantly pay attention to their problems and difficulties. Keep listening to them. Keep raising issues related to your area in Parliament. The work you do should continue to reach the people of the area. You must always give top priority to the issues on which the Congress Party fought the elections. You must keep telling the opponents again and again that political, economic and social justice are our permanent agenda.

I wish you all the best for the next five years. I have full faith that as an MP you will raise the issues of the people and also hold the government accountable.

Thank you! Jai Hind! Jai Congress!