Addressing the last meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party of 16th Lok Sabha, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday lashed out at the Narendra Modi government, alleging that “bluff, bluster and intimidation” have been its philosophy and praised her son Rahul Gandhi, saying that the Congress president brought fresh energy into the party and took the opponents, who were earlier projected as being invincible, head on.
She said the Congress is going into elections with “renewed confidence and resolve” but reminded the party that it cannot be complacent and remember that “unity, self-sacrifice and self-discipline are vital”. In his address, Rahul, referring to the row over the Rafale deal, said the Prime Minister’s “bluster has gone” and he does not have a single step to stand on.
“We are defeating the BJP in the ideological fight. We are defeating the BJP on the daily news cycle and the Congress party is now firmly entrenched in the mood and spirit of the people,” Rahul said.
Sonia said the last five years have been a time of unprecedented economic stress and social strain for India. “The very foundations of our democratic republic, of our secular republic have come under systematic assault by the Modi government. The very values, principles and provisions of our Constitution have come under continued attack by the Modi government,” she said.
“Institutions have been subverted. Political opponents have been hounded. Dissent has been suppressed. Freedom of speech, the most basic of all freedoms, has been sought to be curtailed and silenced. People with opinions different from the ruling establishment have been victimised. There is an all-pervasive atmosphere of fear and strife across the country,” she added.
Elaborating, she said while the Northeast is “burning”, “alienation” in Jammu and Kashmir has scaled new heights.
“Dalits, adivasis and minorities are being targeted. Farmers are facing unprecedented distress. The youth is staring at the abyss of despair with jobs being destroyed on a scale that has never happened before. Bluff, bluster and intimidation have been the governance philosophy of the Modi government. Truth and transparency have been brazenly tossed aside,” she said.
She said victories in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have given the party new hope. “Our opponents were earlier projected as being invincible… We won in what were believed to be their strongholds. That demonstrated our resilience,” she said.
Restore old faculty quota: Rahul to MHRD
New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi wrote to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday, urging him to bring an ordinance to restore the old formula for implementing reservation in teaching jobs in higher educational institutions.
Gandhi’s missive comes less than a week after Javadekar, relenting to the Opposition’s demand in Parliament, gave an assurance on the floor of the House that the government will take the Ordinance route should the Supreme Court reject his ministry’s review petition on the matter.—ENS