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Sonia Gandhi: Rising intolerance, violence in country antithesis of democratic foundations

"Today we see rising intolerance, rising violence, a skewed vision of our history and society is being imposed along with falsehood and unscientific ideas. All this is the antithesis of liberal, secular and democratic foundations of our country," Gandhi said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | October 31, 2019 8:50:20 pm
sonia gandhi congress president, rti amendment bill, rti bill congress, bjp rti amendment, sonia gandhi congress interim president Congress president Sonia Gandhi accused the Modi government of diluting the powers of the Information Commissioners. (File)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday slammed “rising intolerance and violence” in the country, calling it the “antithesis of liberal, secular and democratic foundations.”

“Today we see rising intolerance, rising violence, a skewed vision of our history and society is being imposed along with falsehood and unscientific ideas. All this is the antithesis of liberal, secular and democratic foundations of our country,” news agency ANI quoted her as saying.

Earlier in the day, Sonia Gandhi accused the Modi government of diluting the powers of the Information Commissioners through amendments to the RTI Act and termed it as a “final assault” to decimate the historic legislation.

In July, the Parliament approved the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which gives the Centre power to decide the salaries and service conditions of Information Commissioners at central as well as state levels.

In a statement, Gandhi said the amendments passed by the government would ensure that no Information Commissioner shall be free from interference by the Modi government.

“We have opposed these amendments in Parliament and will continue to oppose them in practice. We condemn this piecemeal destruction of our democratic institutions and will continue to fight the Modi government in these self-serving actions which are the very opposite of national interest,” she said.

The RTI Act, she said, was a historic legislation that gave birth to an institution, which in the past 13 years has become a “sentinel of democracy, transparency and accountability to the common man”.

RTI activists across the country, Gandhi said, have used the law to tackle corruption, to measure the effectiveness of government policies and to illuminate the deficiencies in processes such as demonetisation and elections.

Sonia Gandhi said the Modi government saw this remarkable institution as an obstacle to enforcing their majoritarian agenda without being held accountable to people.

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