Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday accused the BJP-led government of unleashing its “divisive agenda by generating a wholly unwarranted debate on patriotism and nationalism” and said it was the government’s responsibility to ensure that parliament functions.
Gandhi’s strong attack on the government came at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) here ahead of the budget session of parliament that begins on Tuesday.
“To cover up its many failures, the ruling establishment has once again unleashed its divisive agenda by generating a wholly unwarranted debate on patriotism and nationalism. Simply put, democratic and liberal value are under severe assault. The freedom to think and speak are being drastically curtailed,” Gandhi said.
She said the Congress wants parliament to function but the government refuses to accept the democratic right of the Opposition to raise burning public issues.
“Contrary to what the government has been saying, let me once and for all make it absolutely clear — we want parliament to function, to legislate.
“The problem is not with us, it is with the government which refuses to accept that the democratic right of the Opposition is to raise burning public issues.
“It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that parliament functions,” she said.
Making a veiled reference to the controversies surrounding Jawaharlal Nehru University, the suicide of a Dalit youth in Hyderabad university and the violence in a Delhi court ahead of proceedings concerning JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, Gandhi said the CWC meeting took place in a “disturbing background” to take stock of what was happening on various fronts.
She said universities were places where young people must have the fullest freedom to express themselves.
The CWC is the highest decision-making body of the Congress.