‘Democracy being hollowed out’, Sonia Gandhi attacks PM Modi, Centre

Sonia Gandhi
Congress President Sonia Gandhi

Congress President Sonia Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of doing “sinister conspiracies” behind every political protest opposing it and being determined to pursue its “authoritarian strategy” regardless of consequences.

In an op-ed written for Hindustan Times, the senior Congress leader attacked the central government over using investigative agencies to target political opposition and dissenters, diverting attention from people’s real problems, handling anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest and Hathras rape case, and more.

Sonia Gandhi began the article by calling democracy of India – world’s largest -at the crossroads and added that it is clear that its economy is in deep crisis. She goes on by saying, “that all the pillars of a democratic system of governance are under assault.”

The fundamental right to freedom of expression has been systematically suspended through suppression and intimidation, she wrote. Dissent is deliberately stifled as “terrorism” or branded as an “anti-national activity”, added she.

According to Sonia Gandhi, the Centre diverts attention from real problems of the people by pronouncing bogus threats to “national security” everywhere. “Of course, some of these threats are real and have to be dealt with uncompromisingly but the Narendra Modi government and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) conjure up sinister conspiracies behind every political protest, indeed behind any and everything they see as opposition to them,” she stated.

She further alleged the government in Centre for using investigative agencies to target political opposition, as she said: “Every organ of State that could possibly be used to target political opposition has already been pressed into service — the Police, the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and even the Narcotics Bureau.”

The Congress chief accused the Modi government of designating political opponents as enemies of the country. Calling it a “self-serving”, she said that the move unleashed the “most draconian laws in our penal code against any and every protester who disagreed publicly with the BJP and its politics.”

She charged the government for labelling anti-BJP protests as anti-India conspiracies by giving examples of protests against the CAA and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). She further said the Modi government “chose to vilify it and made it a divisive issue in the Delhi elections.”

“The BJP may have differences with dissenters and civil society activists. Indeed, the same activists have often protested against Congress governments as well. But to paint them as anti-national conspirators promoting communal violence is prejudicial and extremely dangerous for democracy,” article stated.

Taking up the gang-rape and murder case of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, she said that the state government’s response was “vile”.

She said the PM Modi claims to represent 130 crore Indians but his government treats political opponents, dissenters, and those who did not vote for the ruling party as “second-class citizens without democratic rights”.Concluding the article the senior political leader said the citizens of India are not just an electorate but only they are the nation and country will thrive only when democracy as envisioned by our Constitution.

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