NEW DELHI: In a fiery address to Congress workers in Bhubaneswar on Monday, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge issued a stark warning about the future of democracy in India should Narendra Modi secure another term in office. Kharge ominously proclaimed that if Modi retains power after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, it could mark the end of electoral democracy in the country, paving the way for a dictatorship.
“Under Modi’s rule, there will be no democracy, no elections; only dictatorship,” Kharge asserted, painting a dire picture of the consequences of another Modi victory. His words echoed with a sense of urgency as he urged the people to recognize the gravity of the situation, framing the upcoming elections as perhaps the last opportunity for citizens to exercise their voting rights.
“They are giving (ED) notices to everyone. They are intimidating people… Because of fear, some are leaving friendships, some are leaving the party, and some are leaving the alliance… This is your last chance to vote. After this, there will be no voting,” he said, according to ANI.
Kharge didn’t mince words in his critique of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), branding them as agents of poison poisoning the fabric of Indian society. He juxtaposed their divisive rhetoric with the Congress party’s vision of unity and inclusivity, championed by Rahul Gandhi’s call to foster love and harmony.
“Rahul Gandhi wants to unite the country, he said he has opened ‘Mohabbat ki Dukaan’. But the BJP and RSS have opened ‘Nafrat ki Dukaan’. It is because of this that you need to remain alert. BJP and RSS are poison, they are depriving us of our rights,” Kharge said.
The veteran politician also took potshots at regional leaders who have aligned themselves with PM Modi, particularly targeting Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik for his perceived closeness to the Prime Minister. Kharge questioned the benefits of such alliances, suggesting that the promised “double engine” of development often fails to deliver on its lofty promises.
#WATCH | Bhubaneshwar, Odisha: Addressing the Workers’ Convention, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge says, “What did Navin Patnaik gain from his friendship with Narendra Modi? The double engine fails at times. And when the double engine doesn’t work properly, the first engine… pic.twitter.com/40QiuXdwy9
— ANI (@ANI) January 29, 2024
Referring to recent political developments, Kharge dismissed the significance of individual defections from opposition alliances, asserting that the collective strength of the opposition will prevail against the BJP. He remained steadfast in his belief that the Congress-led coalition would emerge victorious, despite setbacks such as Nitish Kumar’s departure from the Opposition bloc.