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‘No longer can…’: Sonia Gandhi's sharp attack on Narendra Modi's governance style

Jun 08, 2024 07:48 PM IST

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi was unanimously re-elected as the chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) on Saturday.

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi was re-elected unanimously as the chairperson of the Congress parliamentary party on Saturday. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge proposed Sonia Gandhi's name as the chairperson of the parliamentary party and the proposal was seconded by Gaurav Gogoi, K Sudhakaran and Tariq Anwar.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Sonia Gandhi, K.C. Venugopal and others during the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, at the Parliament, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 8, 2024.(PTI)

Gandhi expressed deep gratitude for the trust reposed in her and congratulated the newly elected Lok Sabha MPs.

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“You have fought a tough election under the most challenging of circumstances. You have surmounted many obstacles and campaigned so very effectively,” the senior Congress leader said, noting that their efforts have given the Congress a “much greater presence” in the Lok Sabha and a “more effective voice” in the house proceedings.

Read: Congress to focus on urban voters, assess setback in states won before Lok Sabha polls

Sonia Gandhi recounted the challenges the party faced during the Lok Sabha elections, including the freezing of bank accounts by the Income Tax department.

“(Congress) was up against a mighty and malevolent machine that was doing its utmost to destroy us. It tried to cripple us financially. It carried out a campaign against us and our leaders that was full of lies and defamation,” she said.

“Many wrote our obituaries! But under the determined leadership of Kharge ji we persevered. He is an inspiration to all of us.”

Read: Sonia Gandhi family's advice to Amethi MP Kishori Lal Sharma: 'Ghamand nhi karna...'

She lauded the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra as historic movements that rejuvenated the party at all levels, thanking Rahul Gandhi for his “tenacity and determination” in the face of “unprecedented personal and political attacks.”

Gandhi also called for introspection on improving performance in states where expectations were not met, a point earlier made by Congress president Kharge at the meeting of the extended Congress Working Committee.

Read: CWC passes resolution to appoint Rahul Gandhi as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha

She asserted that Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi suffered a political and moral defeat since he “sought the mandate solely in his name”.

“Yet, far from taking responsibility for failure he intends to get himself sworn in again tomorrow. We do not expect him to change the substance and style of his governance, nor take cognizance of the will of the people,” Gandhi said.

“That is why, as members of the CPP, we have a special obligation to be watchful, vigilant and proactive in holding him and his new NDA Government accountable,” she added.

“No longer can and should Parliament be bulldozed like it has been for a decade now. No longer will the writ of the ruling establishment be permitted to disrupt Parliament, whimsically mistreat members or push through legislation without due and proper consideration and debate. No longer can and should Parliamentary Committees be ignored or bypassed like they have been since 2014. No longer will Parliament be muzzled and stifled as it has been over the past ten years.”

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