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Congress readies protest road map

Congress president Sonia Gandhi addresses Congress general secretaries and State chiefs from New Delhi. Photo: Twitter/@INCIndia via PTI  

Congress president Sonia Gandhi targeted the Narendra Modi-led BJP government for alleged atrocities against Dalits and women, passing anti-farmer ‘black’ laws, ‘demolishing’ the economy and accused Prime Minister Modi of ‘abdicating’ his responsibility in the fight against COVID-19.

At a virtual meeting of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretaries and State-incharges, Ms. Gandhi said India was passing through a “tumultuous phase” in which the rights of the citizens are being ‘systematically’ handed over to a handful of crony capitalists.

Also read: Congress focus on Gwalior-Chambal, COVID-19 relief in Madhya Pradesh by-poll manifesto

This was the first meeting of the general secretaries and incharges after the Congress had carried out a major organisational reshuffle last month. 

The party prepared a roadmap of various agitational programmes against the farm laws and the growing incidents of violence against Dalits and women. It includes a plan to petition President Ram Nath Kovind by submitting two crore signatures of farmers against the new farm laws on November 19, the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi. 

“Atrocities on Dalits have reached a new zenith. Instead of honouring the law and granting adequate protection to India’s daughters, the BJP governments are siding with the criminals. The voice of oppressed families is being suppressed by the agencies of the State. Is this the new ‘Raj Dharma’?” Ms. Gandhi asked.

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The Congress chief’s comment comes in the backdrop of the party’s aggressive stance over the Hathras incident in which a 19-year Dalit girl was allegedly raped and murdered. 

Attacking the Modi government over the farm laws, she accused the government of hatching a ‘conspiracy’ to undo the gains of the Green Revolution. 

“Lives and livelihoods of crores of farm labourers, lease hold farmers, small and marginal farmers, toiling labourers and small shopkeepers are under attack. It is our solemn duty to join hands to defeat this sinister conspiracy.”

She accused the Modi government of pushing the country into “an abyss with its ineptitude” in dealing with COVID-19 and its impact on the economy. 

“The stark truth is that a Prime Minster, who promised to defeat corona within 21 days, has abdicated his and his govt.’s responsibility towards the citizens. There is neither a plan nor strategic thinking, solution or way ahead in the fight against corona.”

The Congress chief accused the Modi government of ‘demolishing’ the economy that had been “painstakingly built by fellow Indians and successive Congress governments”. 

“Never has the country witnessed such a free-fall in GDP as also all other economic indices. Today, the young have no jobs. Nearly 14 crore jobs have been lost. Small and medium businesses, small shopkeepers and other small enterprises are shutting at an unprecedented pace, yet an uncaring government remains a mute spectator,” Ms. Gandhi said.

On October 31, Kisan Adhikar Diwas (Farmers’ Rights Day) will be observed through a day-long fast to coincide with the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and the martyrdom day of Indira Gandhi. There will be nationwide protests over the alleged atrocities on women, Dalits and farmers on November 5.

Between November 1 and 10, there will be daily tractor rallies against the farm laws. An online campaign for public sector undertakings and symposiums on Nehruvian ideology will be organised on November 14 to mark the birth anniversary of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 3:37:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sonia-gandhi-asks-congress-leaders-to-wage-struggle-for-peoples-issues/article32886248.ece

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