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Article 370 erased under false promise of new beginning: Sonia Gandhi

Gandhi said the BJP's pre-poll alliance did not hold because "of its own arrogance and over-confidence."

Article 370 erased under false promise of new beginning: Sonia Gandhi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday attacked the BJP-led Central government saying that democracy was subverted when Article 370 was erased "under the blatantly false promise of a new beginning in Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh" and ground realities are "completely different from the fictitious images conjured up".
Gandhi, who addressed the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting, said that the economic crisis was deepening by the day. She accused the BJP-led government of "shameless attempt to subvert democracy in Maharashtra."
"The Governor behaved in an unprecedented and most reprehensible manner. There is no doubt that he acted under the instructions of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister," she alleged.
Gandhi said the BJP's pre-poll alliance did not hold because "of its own arrogance and over-confidence."
She alleged that every effort was made to blatantly sabotage the three-party alliance government formation, but the parties appealed to the Supreme Court and the government was totally exposed.
"Let me assure you, we three parties are united in our resolve to defeat the BJP's sordid manipulations," she said.
She alleged that "Modi-Shah government is bankrupt of decency and is clueless on how to manage the grave problems facing the country".
"The economic crisis is deepening by the day. Growth is declining; unemployment is growing, and investment is not happening. There is worsening distress among farmers, traders, and small and medium businesses. Consumption, especially in rural areas, is falling. Exports are declining. And prices of essential food commodities are rising, causing hardship to households," said she.
She accused the government of "fudging statistics or not publishing them at all." Gandhi alleged the public sector has been put on the block, "in all probability, to be sold off to a few favoured business people".
She accused the government of pursuing divisive policies to divert the attention of people. "These issues, like the one relating to amendments in the citizenship law, strike at the very foundations of our Constitution."
Accusing the government of hypocrisy, she said that it celebrated November 26 as the Constitution Day "while deceitfully subverting this sacred document day in and day out!"
Gandhi attacked the BJP over its stance on the NRC and said unleashing an NRC in the entire country will only lead to more fear and panic.
"Three months ago, democracy was again subverted when article 370 was erased (read down) under the blatantly false promise of a new beginning in Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. But the ground realities are completely different from the fictitious images conjured up by the Modi-Shah government," she said.
"The agony, anguish, and humiliation of the people continue. Former Chief Ministers, who in the past were political allies of the BJP, MLAs, political workers, ordinary people, who believed in the idea of India, who abided by the Constitution of India, have been under house arrest for months. Even children are not being spared in the crackdown," she added.
Gandhi said that a delegation of political party leaders led by Rahul Gandhi was not allowed to meet the people in Jammu and Kashmir and the "government preferred to shamefully organize clean chits from a clutch of European parliamentarians brought along by a dubious NGO".
Gandhi said that the true story of the electoral bonds has been brought to light through the RTI.
"It turns out to be another clandestine operation, done in haste and against the considered advice of the Reserve Bank of India," she said.
The Congress chief accused the government of trying to "soft-pedal revelations" that the WhatsApp accounts of a number of individuals critical of the ruling establishment have been under surveillance through PEGASUS, a spying software.
She said election results in Haryana and Maharashtra proved those predicting doom were hopelessly wrong.
"I want to congratulate our colleagues in these states who put up a very creditable performance. The results certainly punctured the BJP's self-importance and boosted our party's morale. The BJP will use every method including intimidation, hoping to scare us into submission. But, we will not buckle under pressure, we will fight every battle with grit and determination," she said.
Gandhi said the party will hold a rally in Delhi on December 14 to send the message of "complete mismanagement in all sectors, of unfulfilled promises and deceit, and betrayal of the people".
She said the BJP-led regime "knows or follows no rules and conventions" and accused it of being intoxicated by power.
Gandhi said it was "sheer vindictiveness" that has kept former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in prison for almost 100 days.
"These are undoubtedly extraordinary times when our fortitude and resilience are under the greatest of tests," she said.

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First Published: Nov 28 2019 | 10:52 PM IST

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