Congress Parliamentary Party chief Sonia Gandhi Wednesday said that “bluff, bluster and intimidation” have been the philosophy of governance of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
“Truth and transparency have been brazenly tossed aside. Last five years have been a time of unprecedented economic stress and social strain,” she said.
Gandhi, addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting in Delhi, said bluff, bluster and intimidation have been the governance philosophy of the Modi government.
Claiming that there is an all-pervasive atmosphere of fear and strife across the country, Gandhi said, “Institutions have been subverted, political opponents hounded, dissent suppressed and freedom of speech sought to be silenced. Values, principles and provisions of the Constitution are under continued attack during the Modi regime.”
“People with opinions different from the ruling establishment have been victimised. There is an all-pervasive atmosphere of fear and strife across the country. The North-East 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,” Gandhi added.
Sonia Gandhi also claimed that even Parliament and its procedures have suffered a blow in this regime. “Parliament itself has been immeasurably weakened. Debate and discussion are muzzled. The institution of Standing Committees has all but disappeared. The route of the Money Bill, described by one Supreme Court judge as a ‘fraud on the Constitution’, has been resorted to ever so often to escape legitimate scrutiny in both Houses.”
The meeting was attended by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, party leader Mallikarjun Kharge and others.
Indicating that Prime Minister Modi’s unprecedented mandate of 2014 was obtained by deceit and dishonesty, she said: “There is now near-universal recognition that the mandate of 2014 has been betrayed. I look upon this slightly differently. That mandate itself was obtained by deceit and dishonesty, by misleading the people. It was inevitable that it would be found out and exposed sooner or later. That is exactly what has happened.”
Sonia Gandhi also praised the Congress president for his leadership after taking over the reins of the party in December 2017.
“He (Rahul Gandhi) has worked tirelessly. He has also reached out to other political parties who share our vision of India, who share our agenda for faster economic growth with full social justice, who share our agenda for the welfare of kisans and khet-mazdoors, women and youth, workers in the organised and unorganised sector,” the UPA chairperson said.
Sonia Gandhi said the people of the country were wise and know that “jumlabaazi” (rhetoric) is no substitute for sensitive and responsive governance.
The people know that “imagery, stage management and marketing gimmicks” can be no substitute for responsible and accountable governance, she said.