Congress president Sonia Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday for ignoring his ministerial and party colleagues’ “provocative” statements and for his anti-poor policies, as she slammed the government for taking the ordinance route on important issues.
Gandhi mentioned Modi and the government as many as 11 times in her opening speech at a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in the capital, where she addressed Congress members in an attempt to reinvigorate party cadres ahead of the Delhi assembly polls.
“Influential members of the government and the party have been making provocative statements. This, in many ways, is a continuation of the strategy of polarisation adopted by them in last year’s Lok Sabha and recent assembly elections as well,” she said.
“What is equally if not more alarming is that in the past few weeks, the true colours and intentions of the Prime Minister and the BJP have become abundantly clear.”
Many BJP leaders and ministers have made controversial remarks of late, triggering protests from opposition parties. Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj stirred a hornet’s nest last week when he asked Hindu women to have at least four children. He also called Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a “patriot”.
Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s “ramzaade-haramzaade” comment stalled Parliament proceedings in the last session.
The Opposition also attacked the BJP on a conversion programme organised by certain Hindu groups affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
“The Prime Minister has chosen to ignore these disturbing statements and speeches, raising questions on his real agenda, an agenda that causes sharp division, mistrust and hatred among communities, and agenda that can only cause grievous harm to our nation’s pluralistic and secular ethos,” Gandhi said.
The Congress president also took on the government for taking the ordinance route on important issues such as land acquisition and coal mines.
“While the Prime Minister makes much of lowering inflation, he doesn’t mention how he has lowered the income of farmers,” Sonia said, pointing to the 3% increase of minimum support price of select crops.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who also spoke at the meeting, said the party lost the general election because of disconnect between the workers and the leaders.
“The BJP did not win, we have lost,” he said.
Major changes in the party organisation were also discussed in the nearly four-hour-long meeting.