New Delhi: A combative Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday mounted a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of running a government “of some people, by one person for a select few” and said he has not much to showcase even as the government completes one year.
Accusing the prime minister of centralising power, she added, “It is a government by one person and for select few. The government is setting out to systematically alter proceedings on RTI act,” she added.
Addressing a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party, Gandhi, who is also CPP Chairperson took repeated digs at the Modi dispensation over issues like centralisation of power, lack of substantial growth on the economic front and acting with “obstinate arrogance” in Parliament and criticism of previous governments by the Prime Minister on foreign soil.
“What do they deserve credit for? They deserve credit for the most anti-farmer legislative amendments to our Land Acquisition Bill. They deserve credit for ignoring the severe plight of farmers throughout the country in a show of callous unconcern that has never been seen before,” she said.
“They deserve credit for creating the most centralised government in India’s recent history. Ministers hardly matter. Even the bureaucrats, who are supposedly empowered, feel paralysed because all key files are pending in the PMO for decision,” she said.
Gandhi, who is seeking to move an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha on the issue of keeping vacant critical appointments in the government, wondered “what is this government afraid of?”
She said those appointments in government structure, which have independent authority to question the working of the government machinery, were specially lying vacant.
“Friends, the challenge to us is very clear. We are faced with a government, which assaults everything precious that India and the Congress stands for… We must take the fight for and expose this government on its other sins of omission and commission.”
Taking a jibe at Modi, she said the Prime Minister likes to talk of consensus. “Yet ignoring convention, this government acts with obstinate arrogance. Such arrogance is also apparent when forcing its way in Parliament. Out of 51 bills, 43 have not been sent to the Standing Committee,” she said.
The Congress President’s remarks come at a time when there is a face off between the Government and the Opposition over referring the key GST bill to the Standing Committee.
Citing two examples, she said recently the government imposed AFSPA in Arunchal Pradesh “without even informing the Chief Minister” and they were earlier planning to go through the Bangladesh Land Agreement excluding Assam.