Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday targeted the Narendra Modi-led government for “sabotaging” the Winter Session of Parliament, in a bid to “escape” constitutional accountability ahead of the two-phased Gujarat Assembly elections in December. Addressing party leaders at the inauguration of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet, Gandhi criticised the Prime Minister for his “audacity” to hold a midnight event at Parliament to launch the “ill-prepared and flawed” Goods and Services Tax (GST), but lacking the courage to face the House.
“The Modi-government in its arrogance has cast a dark shadow on India’s Parliamentary democracy by sabotaging the Winter Session of Parliament on flimsy grounds. The government is mistaken if it thinks that by locking the temple of democracy it will escape constitutional accountability ahead of the assembly elections,” the Congress president said.
“Parliament is the forum in which questions should be asked — questions about corruption in high places, conflict of interest of serving ministers and dubious defence deals. The government will be obliged to answer these questions, but in order to avoid the questions and answers ahead of Gujarat elections, the government has taken the extraordinary step of not holding a winter session when it should be held.”
Gandhi attributed unemployment, rising inflation, falling exports, demonetisation and GST to the “tremendous suffering” of millions of Indians. “The fortunes of a handful are being built by destroying the future of the poor and the oppressed. Yet the Prime Minister continues with greater vigor, to make announcements, false promises, and to quote facts and figures that have nothing to do with the reality on the grounds,” Gandhi said.
Regarding the upcoming Gujarat polls, Gandhi said members of the party are working hard. “Let us do our best to prove that people are not fooled and that they will make the right decision and defeat the present dispensation there,” she said, referring to the BJP-led state government.
Meanwhile, the CWC formally initiated the process for electing a new president on Monday. The process will begin on December 1.