Home >politics >policy >Sonia Gandhi tears into Modi govt, says ‘idea of India’ needs to be protected

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday criticized the performance of Prime Narendra Modi-led government and said that the “idea of India" needs to be protected even as the party officially released the schedule of its ongoing internal polls.

In her opening address to a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the top decision-making body of the party, Gandhi said that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had failed on the key fronts of economy, job creation and cross-border terrorism.

“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 straitjacket the whole country into a regressive and narrow-minded world-view," she said.

Attacking the government on the issue of job creation, Gandhi said: “Make in India has failed to create jobs or attract investment. Unemployment is rampant. Farmers throughout the country are in severe distress, forcing them to commit suicide. Manifesto promises that should have been fulfilled in 2019 are now being shifted to 2022."

She added that with the motive of concealing corruption, the NDA government was blunting tools of accountability, undermining the judiciary and suppressing dissent.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh also addressed the CWC meet and focused his intervention on the economic situation in the country and its impact on job creation.

Tuesday’s meeting was significant because it ratified the formal schedule for organizational polls. In the previous CWC meeting, which was skipped by Sonia Gandhi, CWC had nominated Rahul Gandhi to the top post in the party, subject to her endorsement.

The party on Tuesday evening released the official schedule of its five-phase internal polls which reiterated that the election to all the organisational posts including party president will get completed by 15 October. Following this, the final plenary session will take place, the dates of which are not decided yet.

Congress’ internal polls were due since 2015 but the party had sought more time from the Election Commission which has given it time till 31 December this year to conclude the process.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader, told reporters after the meeting that the schedule for the internal polls was approved on Tuesday.

Azad added that the issue of presidential and vice-presidential polls also came up.

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