Udaipur: In a scathing attack on Narendra Modi, Congress’s interim president Sonia Gandhi has said that the prime minister’s slogan “minimum government, maximum governance” meant “keeping the country in a state of constant polarisation”.
Speaking at the three-day Chintan Shivir or ‘brainstorming camp’ in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, Gandhi in her introductory remarks said that the bigotry promoted by Modi has shaken “the very foundation of economic growth” that helped India rise in stature during the Congress regime. At the same time, she acknowledged that the challenges before the Congress in the face of a rising Bharatiya Janata Party under Modi’s leadership are “unprecedented and extraordinary”.
As the party is considering an organisational overhaul, a new leadership and ways to overcome political challenges before it, Gandhi also said that the shivir was also an opportunity to discuss “the numerous challenges that the country is facing as a result of the policies of the BJP and of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its affiliates”.
“By now it has become abundantly and most painfully clear what Prime Minister Modi and his colleagues really mean by their frequently repeated slogan: maximum governance, minimum government. It means keeping the country in a state of permanent polarisation, compelling our people to live in a constant state of fear and insecurity,” the septuagenarian leader said.
“So, it (the Chintan Shivir) is both a chintan about national issues and a meaningful atma-chintan about our party organisation,” she said.
She added that Modi’s regime has led to “viciously targeting, victimising and often brutalising minorities who are an integral part of our society and are equal citizens of our republic” and subverting society’s age-old pluralities and diversities to divide Indian citizens.
Gandhi said that the BJP regimes have also unleashed an era of “ threatening and intimidating political opponents, maligning their reputations, jailing them on flimsy pretexts, misusing investigative agencies against them”.
She said that the BJP regime has meant “eroding the independence and professionalism of all institutions of democracy”, “wholesale reinvention of history”, “the constant denigration of our leaders”, “glorifying the killers of Mahatma Gandhi”, and “the blatant undermining of the principles and provisions of our nation’s constitution”.
She said that there has been a concerted attempt to turn a blind eye towards atrocities on Dalits, Adivasis and women, and use pressure tactics and fear to make the bureaucracy, corporates, civil society and sections of the media fall in line. The Wire