Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the ongoing violence and other problems in the country as she inaugurated her party’s three-day ‘Chintan Shivir’.
She said that the Chintan Shivir will give an opportunity to discuss the numerous challenges that the country is facing as a result of the policies of the BJP and of the RSS and its affiliates.
“So it is both a chintan about national issues and a meaningful atma-chintan about our party organisation,” she said in her inaugural speech.
Targeting the Prime Minister, she said that the BJP’s “maximum governance, minimum government” means “more empty slogans, diversionary tactics and utter silence on the part of an ever-so eloquent Prime Minister when the healing touch is most needed”.
“By now it has become abundantly and most painfully clear what Prime Minister Modi and his colleagues really mean by their frequently repeated slogan: maximum governance, minimum government. It means keeping the country in a state of permanent polarisation, compelling our people to live in a constant state of fear and insecurity.
“It means viciously targeting, victimising and often brutalising minorities who are an integral part of our society and are equal citizens of our republic.It means using our society’s age-old pluralities to divide us and subverting the carefully nurtured idea of unity in diversity,” she said.
Gandhi also accused the Modi regime of “threatening and intimidating political opponents, maligning their reputations, jailing them on flimsy pretexts, misusing investigative agencies against the and eroding the independence and professionalism of all institutions of democracy”.
She also hit out at its bid for “the wholesale reinvention of history, the constant denigration of our leaders, especially Jawaharlal Nehru, and systematic moves to distort, deny and destroy their contributions, achievements and sacrifices nd glorifying the killers of Mahatma Gandhi and their ideologues”.
She alleged that the government is “blatant in undermining of the principles and provisions of our nation’s Constitution, of its pillars of justice, liberty, equality, fraternity and secularism”.
“They are turning a blind eye to continued atrocities across the country on weaker sections, especially Dalits, adivasis and women and using fear to make the bureaucracy, to make corporate India, to make civil society and sections of the media fall in line.
“It is not just the undermining of our long-cherished values embodied in the Constitution that are now at grave risk. The fires of hatred and discord that are being ignited have taken a heavy toll on peoples’ lives. This is having serious social consequences,” she said.
The Congress chief underlined that while the vast majority of Indians want to live in an atmosphere of peace, amity, and harmony, the “BJP, its cohorts and surrogates want to keep our people in a state of perpetual frenzy and conflict. They constantly provoke, instigate and inflame”.
“We have to combat this growing virus of divisiveness that is being maliciously and mischievously spread. This we must do at all costs. We must sustain high economic growth to provide adequate employment opportunities for our youth, generate revenues needed for welfare programmes, and improve the standard of living of our people. But the worsening environment of social illiberalism and bigotry shakes the very foundations of economic growth.”
Yogi government empowering women through its schemes
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is engaged in empowering urban and rural women through its schemes.
According to the government spokesman, under the National Rural Livelihood Mission in Uttar Pradesh, women of self-help groups (SHG) are being given free sewing training and under the Mission Shakti Abhiyan, women’s special protection teams are working to sensitise women and daughters.
Awareness campaigns are being conducted by police stations in different districts of the state. Under this, women and girls are being made aware of women’s self-reliance and empowerment.
The spokesman said that the women of self-help groups were given free training by Usha Sewing School. They are also marketing the stitched clothes. Women are being given training in different phases by the department. Till now 300 women have been given free training.
Hardik Patel hints at joining BJP next week
Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener and former Congress working president Hardik Patel will be joining BJP either on May 30 or May 31 in Gandhinagar. He gave the hint on Friday in Ahmedabad and even hinted at contesting elections.
Patel in a programme on a TV channel has hinted that he is joining the BJP, and the party will decide from which constituency he will contest the assembly elections. He also said that he is going to lead an Ekta Yatra from Somnath temple to the Statue of Unity.
It will be a grand show of Hardik Patel joining the BJP, party sources said.
He was given two options on how would he like to join BJP, in presence of National President in New Delhi, or in presence of Gujarat BJP in-charge Bhupender Yadav or B.L. Santhosh in Gandhinagar. He has selected the second option. Hardik and the BJP are planning to address a large gathering on the day, sources said.
Hardik resigned from the Congress as working president as well as primary member of the party on May 18. Since then speculations were rife that he will join the BJP. A day later, at the press conference, he had told the media that he will announce his decision on Friday.
Since the day Hardik resigned from Congress, he has been attacking the party, saying the party is anti-Patidar and anti- Gujarat. He said that even the party national leaders’ action is anti-Gujarat.
Hardik Patel has been particularly targeting Gujarat Congress incharge Raghu Sharma and former GPCC president Bharatsinh Solanki. He said these leaders are not respecting people’s sentiments.
TDP Mahanadu: Chandrababu Naidu gives ‘Quit Jagan, save Andhra Pradesh’ slogan
Telugu Desam Party’s annual conclave Mahanadu began here on Friday with the party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu giving a call “Quit Jagan, save Andhra Pradesh”.
Addressing the inaugural session of the two-day conclave, the former chief minister termed Y. S. Jaga Mohan Reddy-led government a “curse” and called upon people to throw it out of power.
Setting the tone for deliberations, Naidu launched a bitter attack on YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) for its “misrule” and the “havoc” it created by letting loose “repression” during the last three years.
He called the YSRCP government a rule by “maniacs, liars and corrupt criminals”. The TDP chief said with maniacs in power, the state has lost its honour and dignity.
He described Jagan Mohan Reddy as an “inefficient leader” who has been presiding over a rule by maniacs, liars and hardcore corrupt criminals.
The TDP chief asserted that if Jagan Reddy would not quit politics, AP would not see good and happy days again. All sections should unitedly raise the slogan of “Quit Jagan” so as to save Andhra Pradesh from future destruction, he said.
He alleged that the Jagan government is crushing people with its betrayal in the name of welfare, all-round looting and unbearable taxes. He said the YSRCP government made the state bankrupt with Rs 8 lakh crore debts.
Naidu alleged that YSRCP is inefficient to rule the state and hence it was using police to book false cases against those questioning its misrule. He appealed to all police personnel from constable to Director General of Police not to become tools in the hands of maniacs.
With the party holding its Mahanadu after a gap of three years, Naidu through his speech tried to lift the spirits of the party cadres.
Naidu urged party cadres to continue working the same spirit for next two years and go to people with the slogan of “Quit Jagan, save Andhra Pradesh”.
Stating that TDP has a glorious history of 40 years, Naidu vowed to build young leadership to take the party forward over the next 40 years.
The TDP chief said the chief minister signed “fake MoUs” at Davos with the same companies that worked under the TDP rule. The agreement with Adani Data Centre was signed during the TDP rule but Jagan Reddy cancelled the same and signed a more or less similar MoU with that company at Davos now.
Over 12,000 TDP leaders from across the state are attending the conclave which will pass 17 resolutions on various subjects.
The TDP organises “Mahanadu” every year in May, coinciding with the birth anniversary of party founder and former chief minister N. T. Rama Rao.
After the TDP debacle in the 2019 elections, Mahanadu was not conducted. The annual conclave was conducted in a virtual mode in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The TDP completed its 40 years in March this year. It was on March 29, 1982 that N. T. Rama Rao, a popular Telugu actor, formed the TDP on the slogan of Telugu self-respect.
NTR, as he was popularly called, created a record of sorts by coming to power within nine months of forming the party.
He died in January 1996, a few months after his son-in-law Chandrababu Naidu led a revolt against him to become the chief minister of then undivided Andhra Pradesh. Naidu-led TDP to power in 1999 and remained chief minister till 2004, when Congress wrested the power.
After bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, TDP formed the first government in the residuary state. In 2019, the party lost power to YSRCP.
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