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Modi govt. using organs of State to target Opposition: Sonia Gandhi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has accused the Narendra Modi government of using every organ of the State to target the Opposition, stifling dissent by branding it as “terrorism” and “anti-national” and treating dissenters and political opponents as “second class citizens without democratic rights.”

Her comments, in an article published on Monday, comes a day after her Dussera message to citizens in which she said rulers should not have “arrogance, resort to falsehood or break promises made to the people.”

In her opinion piece, Ms Gandhi said every pillar of democratic governance was under “assault” and the Police, the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and even the Narcotics Bureau now “dance only to the tune of the Prime Minister and Home Minister’s Office.”

“The BJP may have differences with dissenters and civil society activists. Indeed, the same activists have often protested against Congress governments as well. But to paint them as anti-national conspirators promoting communal violence is prejudicial and extremely dangerous for democracy,” she said.

Ms. Gandhi mentioned how the government targeted activists who were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register for Citizens and lodged more than 700 FIRs against them.

The Congress president said the rights of the citizens do not end with the right to vote, as fundamental rights also allow freedom of expression and the right to dissent and protest peacefully.

“The Prime Minister repeatedly claims to represent 130 crore Indians. But his government and the ruling party are treating political opponents, dissenters, and those who did not vote for the ruling party as second-class citizens without democratic rights. The people of India are not just an electorate. They, and only they, are the nation,” she said.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 6:38:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-govt-using-organs-of-state-to-target-opposition-sonia-gandhi/article32946842.ece

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