New Delhi, Feb 8: Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said that the present government had let loose the investigative agencies against political opponents. “An all-pervasive atmosphere of fear and intimidation has been created. Liberal, secular and democratic traditions are being wantonly damaged,”
Speaking at the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting this morning, Sonia Gandhi said “It has been almost four years since this government came to power. This has been a period in which institutions that are at the foundation of our democracy have come under systematic assault—Parliament itself, the judiciary, media and civil society,”
She called for all like-minded parties to work together and ensure that the ruling BJP is defeated in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Regarding the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as the new Congress president she said, “He is now my boss too—let there be no doubt about that – and I know that all of you will work with him with the same dedication, loyalty, and enthusiasm as you did with me,”
Sonia said that the party performed very creditably under tough circumstances in Gujarat and the recent by-election results in Rajasthan were huge. “This shows that the winds of change are coming,” she added.
Launching a scathing attack on the NDA government, the UPA chairperson said, “Tall claims are being made of so-called economic achievements, but the reality is quite different. Agriculture continues to be in deep distress and the desperation of farmers is sadly evident in the number of suicides. The rural economy and small and medium enterprises,are in shambles. Unemployment is staring at our youth. New jobs are not only not being created, but existing jobs themselves are being lost,” she said.
She said that employment cannot happen without new investments and the fact is that there has been a marked decline in the rate of investment over the past four years. “The last budget is full of sleights of hand – of jumlas — such as the oft-repeated but impossible to achieve promise to double farmer incomes in five years, and the promises of increased support prices without clarifying their basis,” said the former Congress president.
Sonia also said that the present NDA government is recycling the old schemes launched by UPA government in new names. “This government announces what it calls new programmes and initiatives ever so often, unveiling them with the flourish of a magician. In reality, they are simply recycled schemes that were launched during the UPA government. True, the new names are catchy and colourful, perhaps much more so than during our time, we must admit. But this seems to be a game of Maximum Publicity, Minimum Government, or put another way, Maximum Marketing, Minimum Delivery.,” she said.
Further, attacking Modi government she said, “If this government is to be believed, India had accomplished nothing before May 2014. The arrogance and dishonesty of this tells us that the Modi government is out of touch with reality, and lives by its own propaganda and lies,”