Asking her party members to be “present, active, aggressive” in order to seek accountability from the government and its ministers, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi came down heavily on the incumbent Modi dispensation. Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP), Sonia Gandhi criticised the centre on host of issues, including tension in Kashmir, incident of flogging Dalit youth in BJP-ruled Gujarat, foreign policy and economic performance.
“We may be lacking in numbers, but we will make up for it with our work and we will continue to demand accountability,” Gandhi said asking her partymen to brace up for political battle.
Beginning her speech, she accused the central government of destabilising institutions, polarising society and mistaking its parliamentary majority for a licence to impose its “narrow” ideology on people.
“The Modi Government has mistaken its parliamentary majority for a licence to impose its narrow ideology on our people,” Ms Gandhi said.
“In the last few months, we have witnessed how the Modi government’s project of destabilising institutions and polarising our society has played out with renewed vigour to the detriment of constitutional values,” she added taking on the Centre.
Shifting gears, she questioned the way tension in the Kashmir valley has been handled, which his reeling under a new wave of protest post the killing of militant poster boy Burhan Wani.
“Recent events in the Valley are tragic and pose a grave danger to the country. There can be no compromise on national security… Yet we must ask ourselves, what has driven scores of young people to such levels of violence,” Sonia Gandhi said.
Targeting Prime Minister Modi over his government’s foreign policy, the Congress party chief termed government’s policy towards Pakistan as the one oscillating “between one extreme to the other.” “The government seems to be changing our country’s stand on security and defence, departing radically from policies that have stood the test of time,” she said.
Besides, she was also critical of the government over India’s failed bid for NSG membership.
“How does the Modi government explain the incoherence of its foreign policy despite PM’s frequent travels abroad, his equally frequent embraces of world leaders and impromptu birthday calls!!” she added further taking pot-shots at PM Modi.
Attacking the government further, Sonia accused it of practising deception through “slick marketing events, glib marketing slogans, in repackaging, in embellishment, and exaggeration.”
Picking holes in the government’s claims of economic growth, Sonia Gandhi referred to questioned raised within the ruling members.
“When it comes to growth and GDP figures that they tout, questions on their veracity are raised even by their own party leaders,” Sonia said even as she flayed the ruling BJP of blocking the FDI when they were in opposition.
“BJP blocked every important FDI initiative of UPA government. Yet now it has put in place a free-for-all policy even in sensitive areas like defence,” she said.
She also drew attention of her partymen towards the corruption allegations in the BJP-ruled states, including the issue of Gujarat petroleum corporation scam, which the principal opposition party had raised in the last session of Parliament.