Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 14
Congress president Sonia Gandhi today attacked the ruling BJP on multiple counts, saying her party and cadre will fight to protect the Constitution and democracy till the last breath.
Addressing a ‘Bharat Bachao’ rally at Ramlila grounds here, Sonia slammed the Citizenship Amendment Act, saying it would “shred” the soul of India. She asked party men to be ready for struggle and told them to get out of their homes, agitate and campaign.
Speaking before her, former party chief Rahul Gandhi stoked a controversy when he took a jibe at late Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar, saying: “BJP wants me to apologise for something I said. But I am not Rahul Savarkar. I am Rahul Gandhi. I will never apologise for speaking the truth. PM Narendra Modi is the one who has to apologise to the nation for destroying its economy.”
The BJP had asked Rahul to apologise for his recent Jharkhand rally remark that ‘Make in India’ had become ‘rape in India’ under Modi rule. Amid a galaxy of party leaders from all states and Congress factions, Sonia led the attack on the ruling party questioning the Act. “Modi and Shah don’t care that the new citizenship law will shred India’s soul as we are seeing in Assam and the entire North-East. But I can say with conviction that our country, with its foundations, will not permit such a law. We will stand with everyone who bears the brunt of this legislation,” said Sonia, asking the gathering whether it was ready to struggle for the rights of unemployed youth, debt-ridden farmers, poor labourers, small traders and women.
“Are you ready for these struggles or not?” she said amid cheering by the crowd.
The UPA chief also sought probes into the outcomes of BJP government’s controversial decisions such as demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax implementation and the ongoing sale of key public sector undertakings.
Sonia accused PM Modi of pretending to celebrate the Constitution while “undermining it daily”. She also said the Modi-Shah duo was “driven by a narrow agenda of dividing people and hiding fundamental truths”.
The Congress president exhorted cadre to come out of their homes and agitate. “Tolerating injustice is the greatest sin. You must raise your voice against the Modi-Shah government and signal your readiness to sacrifice anything for the sake of protecting democracy. Congress is not going to retreat. We will fight to save the Constitution till our very last breath,” Sonia said from the dais where the top brass, including former PM Manmohan Singh, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, Haryana ex-CM BS Hooda and Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja were present.
Slamming the PM, Rahul said “he has destroyed India’s economy”. Rahul repeated his old accusations against PM Modi, saying the current GDP growth rate if calculated by the previous formula was just 2.5%. “He (PM) has given all the money to two or three industrialists, not to all. The country has many honest industrialists… but I will name one. In five years, the PM has given 50 contracts to Adani,” he said.
Questioning demonetisation and GST, he accused the PM of snatching money from the poor and handing it over to a few rich individuals. “I asked them in Parliament how many farmers had committed suicide. The government said they don’t know, shame on them,” said Rahul.
He accused the PM of dividing India and putting “the North-East and J&K on fire”. “They are weakening the country and dividing it. The reason is singular — PM Modi thinks only about power. He will destroy economy for power, rid youth of jobs” said Rahul.
Travel advisories for N-E
The US, UK, Canada, France and Israel have issued travel advisories for North-East following protests over Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). Barring France and Israel, the rest three are obliged to warn citizens against the possibility of threat to their security. TNS
US diplomat concerned
US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback in a tweet has said: “One of India’s great strengths is its Constitution. As a fellow democracy, we respect India’s institutions, but are concerned about the implications of the CAA.” TNS
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