[<<Sonia attacked the government over farmer suicides, Rafael [read:
Rafale] deal, unemployment, decline in investment and handling of Kashmir
and alleged that many cases of violence against minorities and Dalits are
not sporadic or random, but "orchestrated to polarise our society for
narrow political gains".>>]
Sonia Gandhi clarion call for front against PM Modi
Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi
Updated: Feb 9, 2018, 05:00 AM IST
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi gave a clarion call on Thursday for larger
Opposition unig [read: uniting] "like-minded" parties" to defeat the BJP in
the 2019 general elections, while also sending out a message that her son
and party president Rahul Gandhi was her boss, too. Sonia asked party
colleagues to be in a state of readiness for the national elections.
Addressing a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party after Rahul became
party chief in December, Sonia said that she now as CPP chairperson will
work with the president and other colleagues, in discussions with
like-minded parties, for the BJP's defeat in 2019. She said people from all
sections in the country are increasingly getting disillusioned with the
present regime, and that it is now for the Congress to "channel this
discontent into support".
On Rahul, she said, "He is now my boss too — let there be no doubt about
that — and I know that all of you will work with him with the same
dedication, loyalty and enthusiasm as you did with me."
Her call for Opposition unity comes at a crucial time.
The Congress is sensing green shoots after it increased its seats in Prime
Minister Narendra Modi's home turf Gujarat in December's Assembly elections
and swept last week's bypolls in Rajasthan. With some senior leaders in the
Opposition still not very enthused with the idea of working under Rahul's
leadership, Sonia's comments signalled that she is still there to navigate
efforts towards a strong anti-BJP bloc.
Acknowledging that the Lok Sabha election result in 2014, when the Congress
clocked its worst-ever performance of 44 seats, was "no doubt a severe
setback", she said that she was convinced it was an "aberration".
Sonia cited the results in Guajrat and Rajasthan to claim that a process of
revival has begun and the "winds of change are coming". She expressed
confidence that very soon Karnataka's election results too will underline
the resurgence of the Congress.
Accusing the BJP government at the Centre of bringing institutions under
"systematic assault" and having "wantonly damaged" liberal, secular and
democratic values, she said, "An all-pervasive atmosphere of fear and
intimidation has been created. As we look around us, we see a deeply
troubled country and deeply troubled people."
Sonia attacked the government over farmer suicides, Rafael [read: Rafale]
deal, unemployment, decline in investment and handling of Kashmir and
alleged that many cases of violence against minorities and Dalits are not
sporadic or random, but "orchestrated to polarise our society for narrow
"We saw this in both UP and Gujarat. We will no doubt see it again in
Karnataka," she said.
Peace Is Doable
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