PM Modi Trying to Destroy the Essence of India: Sonia at CWC Meet
The Congress CWC also discussed the upcoming presidential and vice-presidential elections.
The Congress on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the Modi government, alleging that there was a brazen campaign to straitjacket the country into a regressive and narrow-minded world view.
Chairing a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's highest decision-making body, Sonia Gandhi asked party men to be ready for 2019 elections to protect the essence and idea of India, which this government is seeking to "extinguish".
Apart from taking stock of the political situation in the country, the CWC discussed the upcoming presidential and vice presidential elections.
It also approved the schedule for organisational elections, to be held in October.
With the meeting taking place in the backdrop of raging debates over contentious issues like cattle slaughter, the Congress chief alleged that "divisive issues are being whipped up and there is an assault on livelihood and food habits of those who follow different tenets and beliefs".
Where there was economic potential, there is stagnation. Where there was rich diversity, there is a brazen campaign to straitjacket the whole country into a regressive and narrow-minded world view.Congress President Sonia Gandhi
Emphasising that the current crisis in Jammu and Kashmir is due to the "colossal failure" of the government, she said the "insensitive" handling of the situation by both the state and central governments are systematically alienating and antogonising the local people, especially the youth.
“A divisive agenda is being followed which has undone years of goodwill and progress,” said Sonia.
On the party's failure to form governments in Goa and Manipur, despite winning the highest number of seats in the assembly elections, she said "we cannot let this happen again", and asked party men to help strengthen the organisation.
The meeting, which was attended by top party leaders, including party vice president Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, slammed the NDA dispensation, saying it is only a government of "slogans and publicity" that seeks to become a "hero on television alone, but is zero on the ground".
Asserting that whether it is the politicians, the institutions, students, civil society or the media, Sonia said the intolerance was growing and there was an active persecution of divergent voices in blatant disregard of the law of the land.
The party president said it is a matter of grave concern that there has been a rise in lynch mobs and alleged that there existed a close ideological affinity between these mobs and the ruling establishment.
After the meeting, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "Discussed vital political issues including crisis in J&K, Government's mishandling of the economy, Presidential polls as well as Congress organisational elections."
Referring to CBI searches at the premises of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy, senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "Yesterday, we were seeing shamelessness”.
While people have vanished with thousands of crore, why is the government so rattled by a Rs 50 crore matterGhulam Nabi Azad
He accused the government of misusing the official machinery to crush voices of dissent and fix political rivals, in an apparent reference to recent raids by investigation agencies like the CBI and the ED against opposition leaders.
Azad alleged women did not feel safe in the country any more, and the youth, instead of getting new jobs, were losing them.
This government has misused official machinery like never before. Even dictatorial regimes across the world may not have gone to that extent to misuse official agencies...It seems this government does not believe in democracy at all.Ghulam Nabi Azad
Alleging that the government is using the power of the state to stifle voices that express different thoughts and ideas, or speak out for alternative policies and philosophies, Sonia said, "Worst of all, women, Dalits, adivasis, minorities and other oppressed people are facing perilous times."
She also attacked the Modi government, saying there is a systematic attempt to blunt tools of accountability, undermine the judiciary and suppress dissent.
"Cronies and individuals close to the establishment have either seen dramatic increase in wealth and influence in the last three years, or have escaped the wrath of the law and managed to flee the country," she said, in an apparent reference to Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi.
During the meeting, ex-PM Singh expressed serious concern over the slowdown of the country's growth, and said it is mainly because of demonetisation that has impacted job creation.
He also said that the economy is running on just one engine of public spending.
Senior Congress leaders AK Antony, P Chidambaram, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Janardan Dwivedi and Digvijay Singh were among those who attended the CWC meet.
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