Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday mounted a stinging attack on the government, accusing it of using state power to stifle voices that express different thoughts and ideas while divisive issues are being whipped up. She said there is an assault on the livelihoods and food habits of those who follow different tenets and beliefs.
Addressing the Congress Working Committee meeting, Sonia Gandhi said whether it is politicians, institutions, students, civil society or the media, there are growing intolerance and active persecution of divergent voices in blatant disregard of the law of the land.
"It is a matter of grave concern that there has been a rise in lynch mobs; there exists a close ideological affinity between these mobs and the ruling establishment, she said, adding women, Dalits, tribals, minorities and other oppressed people were facing perilous times.
She said the government was using the power of the state to stifle voices that express different thoughts.
"Divisive issues are being whipped up, and there is an assault on the livelihoods and food habits of those who follow different tenets and beliefs. This government is using the power of the state to stifle voices that express different thoughts and ideas or speak out for alternative policies and philosophies.
"Whether it is politicians, institutions, students, civil society or the media, there is growing intolerance and active persecution of divergent voices in blatant disregard of the law of the land." she said.
Gandhi alleged that there was a systematic attempt to undermine the judiciary and suppress dissent and accused the government of concealing corruption.
"The systematic attempt to blunt tools of accountability, undermine the judiciary and suppress dissent, serves this government in the larger purpose of concealing corruption.
"Cronies and individuals close to the establishment have either seen a dramatic increase in wealth and influence in the last three years or have escaped the wrath of the law and managed to flee the country," she said.
Gandhi accused the government of seeking to push "regressive, narrow-minded world view" and said that after three years of the Modi government, harmony has been replaced with discord.
"Where there was harmony, there is discord. Where there was tolerance, there is a provocation. Where there was relative calm, as in Kashmir, there is growing confrontation, tension and fear. Where there was economic potential, there is stagnation. Where there was rich diversity, there is a brazen campaign to strait-jacket the whole country into a regressive and narrow-minded world-view," she said.
She said the government's policies were characterised by poor planning and shoddy implementation. "They have been disastrous for our social and economic fabric."
Gandhi said the 'Make in India' scheme of the government has failed to create jobs or attract investment and unemployment were rampant.
"Farmers throughout the country are in severe distress, forcing them to commit suicide. Manifesto promises that should have been fulfilled in 2019 are now being shifted to 2022," she said.
Gandhi said whatever progress the government has scored has come from programmes and projects that were started by the UPA government.
"But even there, they have abandoned the social welfare underpinning of all that we had sought to achieve and failed to provide any benefit to the vast majority of the poor and deprived."
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad briefed reporters after the CWC meeting and accused the Modi government of "crushing voices of dissent".
He attacked the government over its performance in the last three years, saying it was a "hero on TV and zero on the ground".