A combative Congress president Sonia Gandhi made a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday, saying there had been “subtle but pernicious signals of intolerance” ever since it came to power.
Sonia’s aggressiveness over the past few days isn’t just directed at the BJP but is also aimed at addressing unrest in her party after its drubbing in the general elections. Her immediate challenge is to galvanise a demoralised cadre ahead of assembly elections in four states.
There have been open voices of dissent in the Congress after the poll debacle, with many questioning party vice president Rahul Gandhi’s style of functioning and demanding that she take complete charge of the party. Over a period of time, Sonia has delegated some of her organisational powers to Rahul.
“It is our task to play the role of a vigilant opposition… and resist the authoritarian and sectarian tendencies of the new government as it tries to get its way in parliament,” she told the Congress parliament party (CPP) meeting.
Sonia reiterated there has been an alarming increase in incidents of communal violence ever since BJP came to power, a day after she told a party meeting in Thiruvananthapuram that more than 600 incidents of communal violence had taken place in UP and as many in Maharashtra during the past two months.
“We have had hundreds of incidents of communal violence and rioting in Uttar Pradesh, in Maharashtra and a number of other states,” she said.
Her increasing combativeness comes days after Rahul led an opposition charge into the well of the Lok Sabha, demanding a discussion on rising communal incidents in the country. He later said communal conflicts in Uttar Pradesh had been “deliberately engineered”.