Seizing on the Supreme Court verdicts on Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarkhand, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today accused the Modi Government of disrespecting the popular mandate in its “greed for power” and tearing apart the Constitution to topple elected ministries.
“The present government, in its greed for power, has torn apart the provisions of the Constitution of India and has dislodged the elected governments of Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh by disrespecting the people’s mandate,” Gandhi said, addressing a party rally here, a day after the Supreme Court ordered restoration of the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh.
Gandhi was in Nanded to unveil a statue of Congress stalwart and former Union minister Shankarrao Chavan and inaugurate a library named after him at his home town.
“Had Shankarrao been alive today, he would’ve been deeply hurt to see all this and would have objected to these unconstitutional steps. But we are proud of the Supreme Court which protected the spirit of the Constitution and restored democracy in these two states,” she said.
Describing Chavan as a “true crusader” of farmers who went the extra mile to secure their welfare, the Congress chief said the NDA dispensation had put farmers and vulnerable sections at a disadvantage by diluting the welfare schemes launched during the previous UPA rule.
“It is sad that today, welfare schemes made by our Manmohan Singh government, for farmers, tribals, minorities and women are being weakened. As a result, lakhs of families are bearing the brunt,” she said.
“The Modi government has to be reminded that there is drought in the country. Due to your (Modi government’s) policies, farmers have been alienated,” she said.
“You have waived off thousands of crores of loans of capitalists but left farmers to their fate,” Gandhi charged.
“The BJP government is weakening welfare measures taken in last 60 years for benefit of farmers,” she said, adding Congress would not allow farmers’ voice to be stifled.
Former Prime minister Manmohan Singh, who was also present at the function, recalled his working days with Chavan.
Lauding the services of Chavan, Gandhi said the late leader was known as ‘headmaster’ for his administrative acumen.
“Chavan was among those leaders who played a valuable role from his student day politics,” she said.
“Chavan was among the loyal associates of Indira ji.I am happy that his family has continued with his legacy of public service,” she said.
She recalled that Shankrarrao also worked closely with Rajiv Gandhi. “He (Chavan) cared for farmers and adivasis (tribals),” she said.
“I am sure that the memorial for Chavan will inspire youngsters,” Gandhi said.
Recalling his association with the late leader, Singh said, “I worked with him as a member of planning commission while Chavan was Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission. I also worked with him as his cabinet colleague in the Narasimha Rao government when I was Finance minister and he was Home Minister. ”
He also praised Chavan for his unforgettable contribution to the development of Maharashtra and the nation.
State Congress president Ashok Chavan, former chief minister Prthviraj Chavan, former Union minister S K Shinde and other senior leaders from the state were present.
Before addressing the rally, Gandhi and Singh visited the famous Takht Sachkhand Sri Huzur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurudwara here.