Sonia Gandhi attacks Modi govt; demands transparency

Rajat Kain

sonia_gandhiCongress President Sonia Gandhi took Narendra Modi government head on in Lok Sabha over the issue of lack of transparency in the governance. Strongly advocating for the ‘Right to Information’, she attacked the incumbent BJP-led NDA dispensation for keeping the crucial institutional positions like heads of Chief Vigilance Commissioner, Lokpal and Chief Information Commission vacant.

“Why the two post of CVC and Lokpal remain vacant till date. This government has shown extraordinary urgency in passing various laws but has not taken the issue of protecting the whistle-blower. The government must match its word for fighting corruption,” Sonia Gandhi told the house as she sought reply from the government.

Sonia Gandhi’s speech taking on the central government has come after series of speeches and intervention by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on the host of issue which has put the government on a back foot.

“Deplorable act of the government in not appointing CIC…resulting in a virtual standstill in the working of Right to Information as brought in by the UPA,” Sonia Gandhi said as she began her speech.

“Information delayed is information denied. This is simply not acceptable’’, she added.

Accusing the Prime Minister and his government of overlooking the need to ensure an accountability and transparency in the functioning of the government, Sonia Gandhi further said, “PM made many promises to the people on transparency and good governance. In a blatant U-turn, his government, through the absence of a CIC has made sure that the highest offices are not accountable under the RTI Act”.

Her speech also gave Congress party a reason to put the government on defensive as the Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply. But the government rejected the principal opposition’s demands as the Minister of State for PMO Jitendra Singh replied to the litany of charges even as Congress members kept rising in protest and refuting with the government replies.

Earlier in the day taking an aggressive posture, Sonia Gandhi addressed the meeting of Congress Parliamentary Party charging the Prime Minister compromising with the dignity of his high office.

“This outrageous remark on foreign soil belittles the dignity of the office he holds and is an embarrassment to the nation,” she told the law makers of her party.

“Such petty behavior does not define us. We in the Congress party are proud of our record and we will continue to fight with conviction for our ideology, programmes and policies, and for the future of our country as we always have,” Mrs. Gandhi further added.

The Congress party had already raised objections with the BJP-led NDA government over Prime Minister’s statement in Canada accusing the previous governments of scams and corruption.

Earlier last month while on a 3-nation visit, addressing the gathering of Indian diaspora in Toronto, PM Modi had said “Jinko gandagi karni thi, woh kar ke chaley gaye. Lekin hum safai karenge (Those who had to create the mess, they had done and left. There is a lot of mess. We will clear it up and go)”.