NEW DELHI: Former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi today tore into the BJP for being “arrogant and power hungry” and said its “dramebaaz” (“gimmicky”) attitude shorn of sincerity would see the Congress soar again first in Karnataka and then in the rest of India.
At the 84th plenary of the Congress, Sonia also exhorted party workers to never give in to power plays and intimidation – which she said the BJP is doling out like largesse – and to stay at the forefront of the fight against the saffron’s party “dictatorial” and “intolerant” behavior.
“The Congress is not a political term, it is a movement,” she said, adding “a very well-regarded one”. ” The poll results from Gujarat + , Rajasthan + and MP show that those who wanted to erase our identity, they had no idea that even now people have so much respect for the Congress,” said Sonia, referencing upcoming Assembly elections right at the start of her speech.
The 84th plenary of the Congress began today + . Over the two-day meet, the Congress is set to roll out a road map for reversing its downward electoral journey. Therefore, with her eye firmly on Lok Sabha 2019, Sonia told members the Congress is the only party that can take the country forward. It’s a task the BJP has failed in, she said.
“In 2014, when the Modi government came, they talked of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas, ‘na khaoonga, na khane doonga’… all dramebaazi (gimmickry) to get votes,” she thundered about the Centre’s slogans, even as thousands of party workers, gathered for the party plenary, erupted in raucous cheers.
The BJP, said Sonia, has only been working towards a “Congress-mukt” (Congress-free) India and not to advance the country.
“In the last four years, this arrogant government has left no stone unturned to destroy the Congress. But Congress has never bent and will never bend,” said the former party president.
Citizens don’t need a Congress-free India, they need a corruption- and vendetta-free India, said Sonia.
“The Modi government’s autocratic behavior, disrespect for Parliament and the Constitution, the fake cases it files against opposition leaders, the harassment of the media … in fighting all of this the Congress is at the forefront. We are exposing Modi and his frauds with proof,” said Sonia, once again her old fiery self.
Sonia also talked about her son Rahul Gandhi who succeeded her as party president in December. She acknowledged it was a difficult time for him to have taken on the mantle.
“I congratulate Rahul Gandhi, he took up this responsibility (of party president) at a very challenging time,” said Sonia.
Earlier today, Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeted the BJP right off the bat in his first address to the party plenary, saying the saffron outfit “uses anger” to divide the country, something the Congress will never do.
He also said the BJP’s “emphasis on divisive politics” has led its focus away from key issues like unemployment and farmers’ distress, and added that the Congress is the only party that can take the country forward, bringing along with it each and every citizen regardless of caste or creed.
“The country is tired, it’s looking for a way, and I say from my heart that only the Congress can show India the way. The difference between the Congress and the Opposition (BJP), the big difference, is they use anger, we use love and regard for our fellow humans,” said Rahul.