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 Congress will work with like-minded parties to defeat BJP in 2019: Sonia


Congress will work with like-minded parties to defeat BJP in 2019: Sonia

Last Updated on : 8 Feb,2018 | Source : UNT News Desk

New Delhi:

Congress parliamentary party leader and past president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday asked her cadres to be ready for early Lok Sabha elections and said she will work with like-minded parties to defeat the BJP in the next polls.

Addressing the first Congress Parliamentary Party meeting after the election of her son Rahul Gandhi as party chief in December last, she said: “We have to be in a state of readiness for the national elections, which are due in slightly over a year – and might well be called earlier as they were in 2004. No doubt 2014 was a severe setback, but I am convinced that it was an aberration,” said Gandhi to MPs from both the Houses.

She called upon her colleagues to build a credible narrative on public concern issues to take on the BJP. Also, Gandhi said she would engage other parties to keep the BJP at bay.

 “As Chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party, I will work with the Congress president and other colleagues in discussions with like-minded, political parties to ensure that in the next election, the BJP is defeated and India is restored to a democratic, inclusive, secular, tolerant and economically progressive path,” she said about her future role in the Congress.

Earlier, Sonia Gandhi called her son her boss and went on to attack the BJP for undermining institutions and attaching the liberal traditions of India.

“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. Investigative agencies have been let loose against political opponents.  An all-pervasive atmosphere of fear and intimidation has been created.   Liberal, secular and democratic traditions are being wantonly damaged. The pluralistic nature of our society—which has been its strength for centuries—is being eroded,” Gandhi said adding that the Congress resurgence had begun.

She was referring to Gujarat and Rajasthan elections.

 Gandhi also questioned the BJP Government’s claims of economic growth saying the reality is 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. The last Budget is full 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 Gandhi.

She added that the disinvestment figures have been exaggerated by including the sale of equity in one public sector company to another, a revised health insurance scheme has been passed off as new and proposed without adequate preparation or worse, budgetary support.

The Congress veteran also described as recycled all schemes announced by the Government. “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.... this seems to be a game of Maximum Publicity, Minimum Government, or put another way, Maximum Marketing, Minimum Delivery,” Gandhi added.

Gandhi also rued weak security situation in Jammu and Kashmir saying that “we must also ask, where is the healing touch, where is the developmental thrust, where is the political engagement that was so much in evidence when Dr Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister? In Nagaland, an accord was announced with great fanfare more than two years ago.  We are still awaiting its details.”

Sonia Gandhi also flagged insecurity among minorities saying they were being subjected to break assaults. 

Non disclosure of Rafale jet price also featured in Gandhi’s speech.

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