We must be disciplined, must be united. The People have reposed their faith back in us in substantial measures and we must build on it.

Congress President Shri Mallikarjun Kharge’s Opening Remarks at the extended CWC (Congress Working Committee) meeting in New Delhi on June 8, 2024.

I heartily welcome all of you to our first Working Committee meeting after the 18th Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress Working Committee thanks the Congress Party leaders and millions of workers spread across the country who worked tirelessly in the last few months. I congratulate you for your strong will, determination and hard work.

The public has given a strong reply to dictatorial forces and anti-constitutional forces by expressing faith in us. The voters of India have rejected BJP’s 10 years of divisive, hateful and polarizing politics.

The Congress Working Committee congratulates all the newly elected members of the Congress, who fought and won the elections despite adverse circumstances. Congratulations to them on becoming members of the 18th Lok Sabha.

On this occasion, I would also like to thank Smt. Sonia Gandhi, who actively participated in the election preparations, alliance meetings and guided all of us, based on her long experience. I would also like to congratulate the people’s favourite, Rahul Gandhi ji, who has made issues like the Constitution, economic inequality, unemployment and social justice and harmony a public issue.

This is the result of the 4,000-km-long ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ led by Rahul ji two years ago and then the 6,600-km-long ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, which helped us connect with the people and understand their problems, concerns and aspirations. On this basis, the Congress Party prepared its election campaign.

I would like to specially congratulate Priyankaji who campaigned vigorously in Amethi and Rae Bareli as well as other parts of the country.

I would like to thank all my senior colleagues of Congress who worked as a team. It was the result of our collective efforts that our workers across the country worked with a new zeal and enthusiasm. They made significant contributions in their respective fields. We have to always remember that with hard work and determination we can defeat even the biggest opponents.

Here I would like to specially mention that wherever ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ passed, the vote percentage and seats of Congress Party increased.

In Manipur, from where Nyay Yatra started, we won both the seats. We got seats in many states of North-East like Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya. We emerged as the largest Party in Maharashtra. Congress Party got immense support from the people across the country to save democracy and constitution.

Not only this, the number of seats of Congress Party increased in SC, ST, backward class, minority and rural areas. We have to make further efforts to strengthen our influence among the urban voters and strengthen the Party in these areas as well.

While we are happy with the good performance of Congress Party in some states, we have to pay special attention to those states where the results were contrary to the possibilities and expectations of the Congress Party. Where we performed well in Vidhan Sabha and formed the government, but could not repeat that performance in Lok Sabha.

We will soon discuss all these things separately. Whatever immediate steps are required, we will take them too.

In this meeting, I would also like to specially appreciate our India Alliance partners. All the allies played an important role in various states, every party contributed as much as possible. We stood together in one voice.

Together with our partners in the INDIA Alliance, we will work together and unitedly in and outside Parliament.

The key issues on which we campaigned are matters of concern to the common people. Therefore, they will always remain in our focus. We will continue to raise these questions of the people in and outside Parliament.

We humbly accept the mandate. A large section of the country’s people have put their trust in us. We will make every possible effort to maintain their trust. We have to remain disciplined. We have to remain united.

Our work will continue, whether we are in power or not. We have to be among the people 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and raise people’s issues.

Elections in important states are due in a few months, we have to defeat the opposition parties at any cost and form our government. People want change, we have to become their strength.

The Congress Working Committee congratulates leaders and crores of workers, their determination, will power and resolve. People have spoken against the dictatorial and anti-democratic ways of the ruling party. It is a decisive rejection of the politics of the last 10 years - Its rejection of the politics of divisiveness, hate and polarization.

I want to draw your attention to the fact that wherever ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ went, we saw an increase in the vote percentage and number of seats for the Congress Party.

In Manipur, we won both the seats. We also won seats in Nagaland, Assam, and Meghalaya. In Maharashtra, we emerged as the single-largest party. People from all walks of life supported the Congress Party to save the country’s democracy and constitution.

Other than this, we saw an increase in seats dominated by SC, ST, OBC, and Minority voters as well as in Rural areas. Going forward, we have to make our presence felt in urban areas as well.

While we celebrate the revival, we should pause a little as in some states we have not performed to our abilities and expectations. Further, we could not repeat our performance in states where we had previously done well in Vidhan Sabha elections and formed the government.

We will soon be holding separate discussions on each such state. We have to take urgent remedial measures. These are states which have traditionally favoured Congress, where we have opportunities which we have to harness not for our own advantage but for the benefit of our people. This exercise I propose to hold very soon.

I will be failing in my duty if I don’t acknowledge the INDIA Alliance partners, in which each party played its designated role in different states, each party contributed to the other.

Our determination is that the INDIA group must continue. We must function cohesively and collectively both in parliament and outside.

The issues that we raised in the election campaign are issues that are bothering the people of India. We have to continue to raise them both in parliament and outside.

We must be disciplined, must be united. The People have reposed their faith back in us in substantial measures and we must build on it. We accept this verdict with genuine humility.

Whether we are in power or not, Congress Party’s work continues. We have to work amongst our people 24 hours, 365 days and raise their issues.

I would also like to thank groups of farmers, organisations working for backward classes, civil society groups, NGOs, small groups of traders, lawyers, intellectuals, independent media and others. So let us have a fruitful discussion today. Let me end by saying that these discussions should remain within the Party forum and there should not be a running commentary on what we discussed here. We must learn this. Thank you!