Defending the Constitution


Saving Democracy, Removing Fear, Restoring Freedom

India’s democracy has been reduced to an empty shell. Every institution, including Parliament, is perceived to have lost its independence and become subservient to the executive government. It is common knowledge that it is the will of one person that prevails in the country. People’s trust in democratic institutions will be restored.

  1. We promise you freedom from fear.
  2. We promise to restore freedom of speech and expression including full freedom of the media.
  3. We promise to de-criminalise the offence of defamation and provide, by law, a speedy remedy by way of civil damages.
  4. We promise to end the arbitrary and indiscriminate suspension of the Internet.
  5. We will review the Telecommunications Act, 2023 and remove the provisions that restrict freedom of speech and expression and that violate the right to privacy.
  6. We promise to review all laws that interfere with the right to privacy and make suitable amendments to various laws to uphold the right to privacy.
  7. We promise to uphold the people’s right to assemble peacefully and to form associations.
  8. We promise not to interfere with personal choices of food and dress, to love and marry, and to travel and reside in any part of India. All laws and rules that interfere unreasonably with personal freedoms will be repealed.
  9. We promise that the two Houses of Parliament will each meet for 100 days in a year and the great traditions of Parliament that prevailed in the past will be revived and scrupulously observed. We promise that one day in a week will be devoted to discuss the agenda suggested by the opposition benches in each House. We promise that the presiding officers of the two Houses will be required to sever their connection with any political party, remain neutral, and observe the age-old norm that the ‘Speaker does not speak’.
  10. We reject the ‘one nation one election’ idea and we promise that elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies will be held as and when they are due in accordance with the Constitution and the traditions of a parliamentary democracy.
  11. We promise to restore the voters’ trust in the election process. We will amend the election laws to combine the efficiency of the electronic voting machine (EVM) and the transparency of the ballot paper. Voting will be through the EVM but the voter will be able to hold and deposit the machine-generated voting slip into the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) unit. The electronic vote tally will be matched against the VVPAT slip tally.
  12. We promise to strengthen the autonomy of the Election Commission of India, the Central Information Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Commissions for SC, ST, minorities and OBC, and other constitutional bodies.
  13. We promise to amend the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution and make defection (leaving the original party on which the MLA or MP was elected) an automatic disqualification of the membership in the Assembly or Parliament.
  14. We promise to restore the Planning Commission and define its role and responsibilities that will include formulating medium and long-term perspective plans to meet the needs of the Nav Sankalp Economic Policy described in Chapter VII.
  15. We promise to ensure that the police, investigation and intelligence agencies will function strictly in accordance with law. They will be brought under the oversight of Parliament or the state legislatures, as the case may be.
  16. We promise to put an end to the weaponisation of laws, arbitrary searches, seizures and attachments, arbitrary and indiscriminate arrests, third-degree methods, prolonged custody, custodial deaths, and bulldozer justice.
  17. We promise to enact a law on bail that will incorporate the principle that ‘bail is the rule, jail is the exception’ in all criminal laws.
  18. We will introduce comprehensive prison reform to transform jails into institutions of rehabilitation, reform and correction


In the last 10 years tremendous damage was done by the BJP/NDA by misusing the brute majority enjoyed by it in Parliament to make laws that violated the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India as well as the fundamental principles of law-making, namely, necessity, consultation, reasonableness and proportionality.

We promise that all anti-people laws passed by the BJP/NDA without proper parliamentary scrutiny and debate, especially those relating to workers, farmers, criminal justice, environment & forests and digital data protection, will be thoroughly reviewed and changed.

We will carry out complete investigations of the Electoral Bonds Scam, the reckless sale of public assets, the PM CARES scam, repeated intelligence failures at the highest levels and corruption in major defence deals.



    In the last ten years, significant sections of the media have been robbed of, or surrendered, their freedom. Congress will help the media re-discover the freedom that they enjoy under the Constitution.

    1. Congress has always believed that self-regulation is the best way to correct the misuse of the media. Congress will amend the Press Council of India Act, 1978 to strengthen the system of self-regulation, protect journalistic freedoms, uphold editorial independence and guard against government interference.
    2. Congress will amend the Press Council of India Act, 1978 to empower the Council to deal with the menace of fake news and paid news.
    3. Congress will defend independent journalism by enacting laws to protect journalists from coercive action by the State. This includes restricting the powers of the government for surveillance of journalists, seizure of their devices and exposure of their sources.
    4. Congress will pass a law to curb monopolies in the media, cross-ownership of different segments of the media, and control of the media by business organisations. Congress will refer cases of suspected monopolies to the Competition Commission of India.
    5. All media houses, irrespective of the size, will be required to disclose their ownership structures (direct and indirect), cross holdings, revenue streams, etc. through their websites.
    6. Congress will pass a law to preserve the freedom of the Internet and to prevent arbitrary and frequent shutdowns of the Internet.
    7. Many new laws (e.g. the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023; Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023; Press and Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023, etc.) give unbridled powers of censorship to the government. The first named Bill will be withdrawn. The restrictive provisions of the two Acts will be amended or deleted to eliminate backdoor censorship.
    8. Congress will amend the Cinematograph Act, 1952 to provide that the Central Board of Film Certification grants graded certificates to according to transparent and reasonable criteria.


    Thanks to the misgovernance, weaponisation of the laws, misuse of investigating agencies and abuse of executive powers by the BJP/NDA government in the last 10 years, the people have come to look upon the judiciary as the last bastion against anti-democratic actions and authoritarianism. An independent judiciary alone can uphold the Constitution of India.

    1. The independence and quality of the judiciary is reflected in the independence and quality of the judges. Congress will unswervingly uphold the independence of the judiciary. In consultation with the Supreme Court and the Chief Justices of the High Courts, Congress will establish a National Judicial Commission (NJC). The composition of the NJC will be decided in consultation with the Supreme Court. The NJC will be responsible for the selection and appointment of judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
    2. All vacancies in the High Courts and Supreme Court will be filled within three years.
    3. Congress will amend the Constitution to create two divisions in the Supreme Court: a Constitutional Court and a Court of Appeal. The Constitutional Court consisting of the seven seniormost judges will hear and decide cases involving the interpretation of the Constitution and other cases of legal significance or national importance. The Court of Appeal will be the final court of appeal that will, sitting in Benches of three judges each, hear appeals from the High Court and National Tribunals.
    4. We will allocate sufficient funds for augmenting the physical and technical infrastructure of the judiciary and for the modernisation and maintenance of the infrastructure.
    5. More women and persons belonging to the SC, ST, OBC and minorities will be appointed as judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
    6. Congress will establish a Judicial Complaints Commission consisting of retired judges of the Supreme Court and retired Chief Justices of the High Courts to investigate complaints of misconduct against judges of the higher judiciary


    In the last 10 years, we have seen that several measures taken by the BJP/NDA government were actually a cloak for corruption. Some examples are demonetisation, the Rafale deal, Pegasus spyware, and the Electoral Bonds scheme. Congress will probe these dubious deals and schemes and bring to law those who made illegal gains through these measures.

    Known offenders were allowed to leave the country in the last 10 years. The BJP/NDA government is perceived to have facilitated their leaving the country and has not been able to bring back any of the scamsters. The circumstances under which they were allowed to leave the country will be probed and all scamsters and their accomplices will be brought before the law.

    The BJP has turned out to be a giant washing machine. Accused in registered cases who joined the BJP were allowed to escape the law. The allegations against such persons will be revived and investigated.


      Art, culture and heritage constitute the identity of a people. The BJP/NDA government has focused on looking at culture through the lens of politics and ideology, while the actual practitioners, practices and institutions of culture have been neglected or actively undermined. Congress is committed to protect the rich diversity of India’s art and culture and to ensure they thrive in an atmosphere of freedom and creativity.

      Art, Culture and Heritage
      1. Congress will guarantee artistic freedom. We will oppose censorship. Attempts by vigilante groups to censor or intimidate artists will be dealt with firmly and according to law.
      2. Congress will commit resources and attention to sustaining India’s living traditions, especially to the flourishing of our distinct indigenous cultures.
      3. We will empower the artisan economy and promote crafts-based enterprises.
      4. Congress will ensure the autonomy of national cultural institutions, including financial autonomy. These institutions will be administered by renowned artists and experts in the field.
      5. We will promote art education in schools and colleges, and support institutions that exclusively teach the arts.
      6. We will intensify the efforts to retrieve India’s stolen art and also support private efforts.
      7. Congress will support government and private efforts to establish museums, art galleries, libraries and archives. This will include smaller institutions at the district level, which are the repositories of local knowledge about artists, artisans, folk culture and communities. We will support measures to create digital archives.
      8. We will work with state governments to build a national network of libraries. We will support mobile and community libraries.
      9. We will ensure that the National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities is revitalised. The Archaeological Survey of India will be provided more funds and human resources
      10. We will offer grants for the translation of traditional and contemporary expressions of Indian culture into Indian and foreign languages to foster national integration and Indian soft power abroad.
      11. We will review and strengthen the Copyright Act, 1957.