Last Updated: April 11, 2023, 11:44 IST
Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi launched a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government, accusing it of “misusing every power”.
The Congress leader went on to say that in the event of upcoming elections in several key states, the grand old party will convey its message directly to people and form alliances with like-minded parties to defend the Constitution.
“The Congress party will make every effort to take its message directly to the people, as it did in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, and will join hands with all like-minded parties to defend the Constitution of India and its ideals,” The Hindu quoted Sonia Gandhi as saying.
In an Op-Ed published in The Hindu, Sonia Gandhi accused Prime Minister Modi of “systematically dismantling” the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The senior Congress leader said their actions demonstrate a “deep-rooted disdain” for democracy.
Sonia Gandhi further alleged that Prime Minister Modi “ignores” incidents of hatred and violence flared by actions of BJP and RSS leaders.
The Hindu quoted Sonia Gandhi as saying, “Religious festivals seem to have become occasions to intimidate and bully others — a far cry from when they were occasions for joy and celebration. Instead, there is intimidation and discrimination only on account of their religion, food, caste, gender or language.”
Sonia Gandhi further said in the Op-Ed piece that people have understood the prime minister’s actions speak far louder than his words.
“His statements — when he is not venting anger on the Opposition or blaming past leaders for today’s ills — either ignore the most pressing, vital issues of the day or are platitudes and verbal gymnastics to gloss over or distract from these issues,” she said.
“Over the past months, we have witnessed the prime minister and his government systematically dismantling all three pillars of India’s democracy — the legislature, the executive and the judiciary — with their actions demonstrating a deep-rooted disdain for democracy and democratic accountability,” Gandhi further added.
The former Congress chief then highlighted the recent sessions of Parliament, accusing the government of strategically disrupting the parliamentary proceedings and thereby preventing the Opposition from raising critical issues such as unemployment, inflation and social divisions, and the “Adani scam”.
Gandhi then attacked the Narendra Modi-led government for ‘expunging speeches, preventing discussions, attacking members of Parliament’ and finally, disqualifying a Congress MP at a “lightning speed”, referring to Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha following his conviction by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case.
“The Narendra Modi government’s misuse of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate is well known, with over 95 per cent of political cases filed only against the Opposition parties — and cases against those who join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) miraculously evaporating,” the Congress leader said.
Sonia Gandhi also raised questions about the media’s independence saying it has been long compromised by the political intimidation of the government.
“Not satisfied with this, the government has armed itself with legal powers by amending the Information Technology rules to remove legal protections for any news which it dislikes under the label of ‘fake news'” the Congress leader said.
“No doubt, an army of lawyers from the BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) stands ready to harass any platform which publishes criticism of the great leader,” Gandhi added.
The Congress leader stressed that the prime minister is silent on legitimate questions about his government’s actions and this silence cannot solve India’s problems.
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