06/06/2017 3:17 PM IST | Updated 06/06/2017 3:32 PM IST

Modi Govt Trying To Extinguish The Essence Of India, Must Protect It, Says Sonia Gandhi

'Brazen campaign to straight-jacket the country'

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Congress president Sonia Gandhi today hit out at the Modi government, saying there is a brazen campaign to straitjacket the whole country into a regressive and narrow-minded world view.

Chairing a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the party's highest decision-making body, Gandhi also asserted that the Congress must be ready to protect the essence and idea of India "which this government is seeking to extinguish".

"The Modi government has just completed three years in office. Where there was harmony, there is discord. Where there was tolerance, there is provocation. Where there was relative calm, as in Kashmir, there is growing confrontation, tension and fear. Where there was economic potential, there is stagnation. Where there was rich diversity, there is a brazen campaign to strait-jacket the whole country into a regressive and narrow-minded world-view," she said.

She added that the NDA government had failed to provide any benefit to the vast majority of the poor and deprived.

Taking a dig at the Centre's much touted and promoted demonetisation drive, she said, "If we just look at demonetisation, which was touted as a great success, till today, the government refuses to disclose how much of the demonetised currency in circulation was actually returned to the banks. The recent released growth rate indicates that former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's forecast that demonetisation would slow down economic growth was correct," she said.

Sonia also criticised the Centre's 'Make in India' campaign, saying it has failed to create jobs or attract investment, adding that unemployment, farmers suicide are increasing by the day.

"Unemployment is rampant. Farmers throughout the country are in severe distress forcing them to commit suicide. Worst of all, women, Adivasis, minorities and other oppressed people are facing perilous times. The 'manifesto promises' that should have been fulfilled in 2019 are now being shifted to 2022," she said.

Commenting on the Centre's new notification on cattle trade, she said there is an assault on livelihoods and food habits of those who follow different tenets and beliefs.

"This government is using the power of the state to stifle voices that express different thoughts and ideas or speak out for alternative policies and philosophies," she said.

The meeting, which was attended by party vice president Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, discussed the current political situation and the upcoming presidential election.

Top Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidambaram, Ambika Soni, Janardan Dwiwedi and other CWC members were also present at the meeting.

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