Congress Plenary: Sonia Gandhi Talks Of Retirement, Kharge Hints At Possibility Of Pre-Poll Alliance

| Updated: February 26, 2023 12:28 pm

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on Saturday, hinted at retirement from her two-and-a-half-decade-long political career. Signaling the end of her political career, the UPA chairperson said her “innings could conclude” with the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

“Our victories in 2004 and 2009 along with the able leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh gave me personal satisfaction but what gratifies me most is that my innings could conclude with the Bharat Jodo Yatra, a turning point for Congress,” the UPA chairperson said.

The 85th plenary session of the Congress party began on Friday in Nava Raipur, Chhattisgarh. She was addressing party leaders on the second day. The three-day session will see the party lay out a roadmap for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and discuss forging poll tie-ups with like-minded parties to take on the BJP.

“This is a challenging time for the Congress and the entire country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP have captured every institution. The BJP is adding fuel to the fire of hatred. It viciously targeted minorities, women, Dalits and tribals. We should deal firmly with the BJP rule, reach out to the people and convey our message with clarity,” she added. 

Delivering the presidential address, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge noted that the party is once again considering entering into an alliance with like-minded ideologies to defeat the BJP. “We are ready to make sacrifices.” Launching a scathing attack on the saffron party, he reiterated that the Congress is trying to unite India. 

He also thanked party leader Rahul Gandhi for initiating the Bharat Jodo Yatra and former president Sonia Gandhi for leading the party for 22 years. 

“Our aim is to create employment for crores of people through MSMEs, control rising inflation, bridge the gap between rich and poor and ensure that farmers get a fair price for their produce,” he said. “The BJP government is anti-poor because their policies worsening the situation. Our effort is to replace the government with people’s votes and not with money bags or with the help of ED, CBI or Income Tax department,” the Congress chief asserted.

At the beginning of today’s session, he released a book and the party general secretaries submitted their reports to the party chief.  Proposals on political, economic and international affairs are to be discussed later in the day 

Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who arrived in Raipur on Saturday morning to attend the session, was given a grand welcome by party workers.  A thick layer of rose petals was laid out on the road in front of the city airport. More than 6,000 kgs of roses were used to pave the stretch for about two kilometres on which, folk artists dressed in colourful attire, were seen performing their traditional dances. 

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