Launching a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central Government, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday accused the ruling dispensation of suppressing the voice of the Opposition.
Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2018, Sonia asked that whether India was really a “giant black hole before May 26, 2014?” as claimed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government and added that such claims are “an insult to the intelligence of our people.”
Accusing the BJP-led Centre of ‘suppressing’ their voice in the Parliament, she said, “Our freedom is under assault. Today we are embracing a regressive vision. Parliament is a forum for the exchange of views. If you are not allowed to speak, then what is the point?”
Sonia further highlighted the ‘growing intolerance’ in the country and said that the “voice of the people is being silenced and religious tensions are being fuelled with just one agenda to win the election.”
Further criticising the NDA government, the Congress leader said that the ‘judiciary is in turmoil’ and the Right to Information Act, which was brought to bring transparency, has been put in cold storage.
“Fear and intimidation are the order of the day; alternate voices are being silenced, religious tensions are being fuelled, vigilante armies are being let loose with state patronage, society is being polarised with a view to winning the election,” she said.
Sonia also accused the BJP of persuading people that Congress was a Muslim party. “BJP has managed to persuade people that Congress is a Muslim party. We have always been to temples. When I travelled with Rajiv Gandhi, wherever we used to go, there was always a major temple that we used to visit. But we never made a show of it,” she added.
Talking about the performance of the party in 2014 general elections, Sonia averred that the Congress was ‘out-marketed’ and they really need to develop a new style of connecting with people.
“We have to look how we project our programs and policies. Rahul does insist on having younger and newer talent for the party to grow, but not at the cost of seniors,” she said.
Expressing confidence in coming back to power, she said, “We’ re (the Congress) going to come back, we’re not going to let them (the BJP) come back.”