Rahul Gandhi with Maharashtra ministers
Rahul Gandhi poses with the group of Congress leaders appointed as ministers in Maharashtra cabinet expansion | PTI Photo
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New Delhi: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi Tuesday directed Congress ministers in Maharashtra to “not compromise on the party’s ideology”, a day after 10 of them were inducted into the state cabinet.   

“He told us that what is paramount is the party’s ideology, its secular nature,” one of the ministers’ present at the meeting told ThePrint on the condition of anonymity.

“Indirectly, he asked us to ensure that the Maharashtra government stays secular.” 

A second minister present at the meeting added that the people from communities have always viewed the Congress as a party that is “pro-poor” and “secular”. 

“Rahulji told us that the people of Maharashtra have put their faith in us,” said the second minster. “He told us to address their problems and not let them down.” 

The Congress is in an alliance with the hardline Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra. Rahul was known to be opposed to the alliance. It was the party’s state unit that had urged interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to join hands with the Shiv Sena “to keep the BJP out of power”. 

“The Sena’s ideology is Hindutva,” said the first minister. “We have to ensure we strengthen and maintain our party’s stance.”   


Also read: Uddhav Thackeray, once a critic of dynastic politics, now has 22 dynasts in his cabinet 


‘Oppose CAA-NRC’ 

Ten ministers from the Congress — two ministers of state and eight cabinet ministers — were sworn-in by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari Monday. That takes the total number of Congress ministers in Maharashtra to 12 — senior party leaders Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut had taken oath alongside Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last month. 

The 12 met Rahul at his residence Tuesday along with general secretary K.C. Venugopal and Maharashtra in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge. After the meeting, they paid a courtesy visit to Sonia Gandhi.

To further emphasise the party’s secular agenda, Rahul also urged the ministers to ensure that they oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens.

There are widespread protests across the country against the CAA and the NRC and the Congress has expressed solidarity with the protesters while condemning the police for their “brutality”. 

“The Congress’ line on CAA and NRC is clear,” said the first minister. “We will keep opposing them.” 

Rahul has further asked the ministers to be sensitive to the needs of the people who have elected them.

“Unemployment will be one of the things we will focus on,” said Varsha Gaikwad, one of the ministers inducted into the Maharashtra cabinet. “We will work to address the problems of the people.”


Also read: Uddhav Thackeray, once a critic of dynastic politics, now has 22 dynasts in his cabinet


A disparate alliance

The three parties managed to cobble together an alliance after nearly a month of discussion and talks over a Common Minimum Programme. 

While the Congress and NCP prevailed over Shiv Sena’s hardline-Hindutva ideology in the CMP, cracks became obvious soon after. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, just two days after he was sworn-in on 29 November, categorically stated that “Hindutva will always remain his ideology”. 

Less than 10 days later, when the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) came up for debate in the Lok Sabha, the Sena voted in favour of the bill that Congress called “divisive and unconstitutional”. In response, a visibly irked Rahul tweeted that anyone who “supports the Bill is attacking.. the foundation of our nation”.  

 

Sources said it was after the intervention of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, on behalf of the Congress, that Sena changed its stance in the Rajya Sabha. The party staged a walkout after MP Sanjay Raut asked for more information on the bill. 

But that isn’t all. The Shiv Sena even kept away from the Opposition delegation, led by Sonia Gandhi, that went on 17 December to apprise President Ram Nath Kovind about the large-scale protests over the Act and sought his intervention. 


Also read: This is why Prashant Kishor has been attacking Congress over CAA


 

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6 Comments Share Your Views

6 COMMENTS

  1. What he means is: “Don’t stop ridiculing, abusing and mocking at Modi. That is all that Rahul knows and can ask his people also to do.

  2. Its is unfortunate that everytime we discuss a happened today the News Channels are spending their likinging to add old clips happened someone decade ago but fail to convince/elobrate the citizens the circumstances under which the Govt were functioning on that day
    The citizens welfare and long-term goals to save millions of Indians in all over the world
    When a debate on the current issue /disscussion focus should be on the issue and not clubbing old clips for their self motive The anchor /the reporter may not have born but strangely making his/her points over the elderly citizens View to destroy the original message and invad the territory of the land
    Temptation vocal cords will be of no use for the country may be it give satisfaction to the people behind Avoid such reporting and take the people to the right path by your enriched knowledge on India
    If you damage the elders who sacrificed so much for the country _means you are maligned your father /grandfather who fought for what you are today
    Politic is the different types than keeping the yesterday leaders as well

  3. The INC is reversing its position and hopefully it will reach out to millions of people through their work. A mass contact programme is to be chalked out by bringing like minded Regional parties on the programs. If a Regional party is strong enough to get the Govt in the state a fair amount of time and agreement with them will pay way for dislodging the present dispensation
    INC should take direct fight with anti people Govt in that state like all NE states Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, haryana, up, Delhi,
    The same way TN to DMK, Bihar to RJD, Kerala to CPM, JK to NC, wB to TMC AP toTDP, Oddisa to BJD, Telengana to INC+TRS etc
    A long term relationship is going to be with them and they will emerge as victorious
    Pro people scheme is the order of the day
    INC is the lead/leader
    from 2020things will change the present thinking about the Grand old party
    New beginning from 2020
    😊😊😊🐭🔛

  4. Ideology of congresses has been same as of English but thy divided indian on caste & religious basis.Keep the Muslim vote bank intact with faque cascade of secularism.Make Hindus fight among themselves& even demonise thei religion & avatars.Loot the country at the highest pace.& leave nothing untouched.And at night wear khadi jacket with a bottle of Wat 69 inside & enjoy

  5. The 44 Congress MLAs were very clear that the party should join the government. It is their pressure which clinched the issue. SP was unable on his own to convince SG. Five years in power will nourish the party, prevent it from withering away, as has happened in so many states where RG was trying to “ rebuild “ it. 2. Each of the three constituents has natural strength on the ground to win about 50 – 60 seats. Facing them is a Shat Pratishat BJP which will struggle to get past 80 now. The previous CM systematically marginalised leaders with a following. One would not be surprised if this arrangement endures for two terms. The last observation is to sprinkle some rock salt on RR’s wounds.

  6. Judging by it’s actions, Congress party’s ideology is to loot the country, keep Hindus divided and perpetuate the Nehru family dynasty. Let’s see how that works out with its new allies.

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