LS security breach: Modi govt. has ‘strangulated’ democracy and shown ‘disdain’for Parliament, Sonia Gandhi tells Congress MPs

The Congress leader said never had so many parliamentarians been suspended for a ‘legitimate demand’ that the Home Minister should make a statement on the security breach in the Lok Sabha

Updated - December 20, 2023 12:11 pm IST

Published - December 20, 2023 11:38 am IST - New Delhi

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi during a protest over the suspension of MPs amid the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi during a protest over the suspension of MPs amid the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Narendra Modi government has “strangulated” democracy and the Prime Minister had shown his “disdain” for Parliament, Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi said on Wednesday, referring to the face-off between the Opposition and the government over the December 13 security breach in the Lok Sabha.

Ms. Gandhi made these remarks while addressing her party colleagues from both the Houses of Parliament in the Central Hall of the old Parliament building.

Also read: Parliament Winter Session Day 13 updates

She said never had so many parliamentarians been suspended for a “legitimate demand” that the Home Minister should make a statement on the security breach in the Lok Sabha. 

The CPP chairperson claimed that it took four days for the Prime Minister to speak about the issue and that too outside Parliament.

“By so doing, he [Mr. Modi] clearly indicated his disdain for the dignity of the House and his disregard for the people of our country. I leave it to you to imagine how the BJP would have responded had they been in Opposition today,” Ms. Gandhi said.

Bills on J&K

Noting that the Parliament had passed some important Bills relating to Jammu & Kashmir, Ms. Gandhi said the Congress position was to press for restoration of Statehood, hold immediate elections and meet the aspirations of people Ladakh.

Ms. Gandhi also accused the government of “distorting history and twisting facts” to defame patriots such as Jawaharlal Nehru.

“In these efforts, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister have taken the lead themselves, but we will not be intimidated or cowed down. We will persist in telling the truth,”she said.

Also Read: The three Bills on reservation in Jammu & Kashmir | Explained

‘Gap in economic growth and ground reality’

The former Congress chief also said that there is a “significant gap” between the Prime Minister’s boasts about economic growth and the ground reality. 

“Unemployment is soaring higher than in decades, and wealth is being concentrated in the hands of a select clique of industrialists.  Prices of everyday commodities are skyrocketing. The poor are suffering,” she said.

Ms. Gandhi also referred to to the recent loss in the Assembly election in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and said that to say that it had been very disappointing was “an understatement”.  

“Our ideology and our values are our guiding light at this difficult time. We must never forget that our leaders fought against insurmountable odds, with great courage and fortitude, to give us our freedom,” she said, even as she congratulated colleagues from Telangana for winning in the State election.

The former Congress chief once again reiterated the party’s position that the women’s reservation law must be implemented immediately and should cover women from the Other Backward Classes. She also targeted the BJP for weakening the co-existence of diverse religions, castes and ethnicities that make up the social fabric.

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