Hyderabad: Claiming that the country is facing ”serious internal challenges”, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday alleged that the BJP was ”adding fuel to the fire” to flare up incidents of violence like in Manipur and Haryana that tarnish the image of a progressive and secular India.
In his opening remarks at the first meeting of the reconstituted Congress Working Committee (CWC) here, Kharge also referred to the upcoming special session of Parliament to caution party workers of the government’s ”intentions” and alleged that ”it wants a Parliament without the opposition”.
He also said the party demands an immediate start of the 2021 Census process along with a caste census and ensure that the rights of deprived sections of society are safeguarded in sectors such as health, education, employment and food security.
Asserting that the Congress has been playing the role of the main opposition for the last decade, he claimed the party has forced the Narendra Modi government to take many important decisions in the interest of the common people.
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”Today, the country is facing many serious internal challenges. The whole world witnessed the heart-wrenching incidents in Manipur. Violence has been continuing there since May. The Modi government ensured that the fire of Manipur violence reached Nuh in Haryana. Due to incidents of violence there, communal tension spread in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi,” Kharge alleged.
”These incidents tarnish the image of modern, progressive and secular India. In these circumstances, the ruling party, communal organisations and a section of the media are adding fuel to the fire. It destroys the secular fabric of the country. We have to together identify and expose such forces,” the Congress chief asserted.
Talking about the upcoming five-day special session of Parliament beginning Monday, he said that after a long suspense, the session’s agenda has come out and the main one is the government’s move to have ”complete control” over the Election Commission.
”We have to be cautious about the intentions of the ruling party. This government wants a Parliament without the opposition. They do not want any MP, media or common people to ask questions,” Kharge alleged at the meeting.
”We also strongly condemn the government’s attempts to stifle the opposition in Parliament and curtail public scrutiny in House,” the Congress chief said.
Kharge claimed the success of the three meetings of the INDIA bloc can be gauged from the attacks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders.
As the alliance progresses further, their attacks will intensify, he told Congress workers, adding that the 27 INDIA bloc parties stand together on fundamental issues of importance.
After three successful meetings, the opposition alliance is forging ahead to combat the ”anti-people and anti-democratic BJP government”, Kharge said while claiming that the BJP dispensation is perturbed by this development and is resorting to vindictive action against opposition parties.
”After the Mumbai meeting of the INDIA bloc, the Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax department and the CBI have been deployed by the government as part of political vendetta against opposition leaders,” he said.
Alleging that the government is engrossed in self-praise after the G-20 event, the Congress chief said Rs 4,000 crore was spent in Delhi on the G-20 summit whose presidency, held by rotation, is now with Brazil.
He also quoted former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru at the Hyderabad convention of the All India Congress Committee in 1953 to underline that India’s status in the world began to rise from that period itself.
Kharge described the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, ‘USD 5 trillion economy’, ‘New India 2022’, ‘Amritkaal’ and ‘third-largest economy’ slogans of the Modi government as ”empty words”.
These are hollow words meant to distract the country from the government’s complete failure in controlling inflation, unemployment, raging violence in Manipur, widening inequality, and declining condition of farmers and labourers, the Congress chief claimed.
He also reemphasised the Congress’ commitment to protect the Constitution, the country’s democracy and the rights of marginalised communities.
The country’s economy is in grave danger with the rise in prices of all essential commodities adversely affecting the lives of the common people, Kharge claimed and accused the Modi government of handing over prized PSUs built since Independence ”to a few crony-capitalist friends”.
”On the national security front, the government’s negligence regarding China’s encroachments poses a critical danger to the country’s security. However, ignoring all these fundamental issues, the Modi government tends to repeatedly deflect and divert attention from real issues with empty slogans,” the Congress chief said.