Govt seeking to straitjacket India into regressive world view: Sonia

NEW DELHI
6 Jun 2017

The Congress today launched a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi-led Union 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) meeting, the party's highest decision-making body, Sonia asked partymen 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. 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".

Gandhi said: "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." 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 government and the Centre 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," she said. 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 partymen 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 there was growing intolerance and 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 matter?"