Sonia Gandhi slams Centre over Arnab Goswami Whatsapp chats row, says govt's 'silence is deafening'

Addressing a meeting of the CWC, the Congress chief also targeted the Narendra Modi govt over the farmers' protest and said the three farm laws were 'prepared in haste'

Press Trust of India January 22, 2021 20:13:22 IST
Sonia Gandhi slams Centre over Arnab Goswami Whatsapp chats row, says govt's 'silence is deafening'

File image of interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi. PTI

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday launched a fierce attack on the Centre over the farmers' agitation and said the government has shown "shocking insensitivity and arrogance going through the charade of consultations".

Addressing a crucial meeting of the Congress Working Committee, she alleged that it was now abundantly clear that the three farm laws were prepared in haste and Parliament was consciously denied an opportunity to examine in any meaningful detail their implications and impacts.

"The agitation of farmers continues and the government has shown shocking insensitivity and arrogance going through the charade of consultations," she said.

The crucial meeting, being held virtually, will also finalise the plan for organisational elections, including that of the next Congress president.

Sonia said the Congress position on the issue of the farm laws has been clear from the very beginning. "We reject them categorically because they will destroy the foundations of food security that are based on the three pillars of MSP, public procurement and PDS."

Discussing the Budget Session of Parliament, she said there are many pressing issues of public concern that need to be debated and discussed, but it remains to be seen whether the government will agree to a discussion.

On the purported WhatsApp chat leaks of Arnab Goswami, she said, "There have been very disturbing reports on how national security has been so thoroughly compromised."

"The silence from the government's side on what has been revealed has been deafening. Those who give certificates of patriotism and nationalism to others now stand totally exposed," she said.

Sonia expressed the hope that the process of the COVID-19 vaccination drive will continue and be completed to the fullest extent.

The government, she added, has inflicted untold suffering on the people of the country by the manner in which it has managed the COVID-19 pandemic. "It will take years for the scars to heal," she alleged.

The economic situation remains grim and large parts of the economy like MSME and the informal sector have been decimated with the government refusing to extend a lifeline, the Congress president said.

"When public expenditure has to be carefully prioritized, it is very painful to find huge amounts of money being allocated and spent on initiatives that can only be described as 'personal vanity projects'," she said.

"Panic privatization has gripped the government and this is something that the Congress party can never accept and support," Sonia added.

The Congress chief also asked the party office bearers to list the schedule and modalities for organizational elections that has to get the CWC's approval.

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