Wed, 16 Nov 2016
I welcome you to this meeting of the Congress Working Committee.
We are gathered to take stock of the political and economic situation in the country. The Modi government is obsessed with
power, it seeks to silence all those who disagree. Hiding behind the cloak of national security, civil society is being intimidated for asking questions. Television channels are being punished and asked to shut down. The opposition is being arrested for holding the government to account.
Democracy, under the present dispensation, is going through one of its darkest hours. All attempts by this government to suppress our fundamental freedoms by abusing State power will only strengthen our resolve to defeat such dangerous designs. Asking questions is what discomforts this government the most, for they have no answers. We must in every forum, in particular the upcoming session of Parliament, expose the government’s failures.
Atrocities against Dalits go unabated. The rights of Adivasis continue to be trampled upon.
Selectively chosen corporates are favoured, not the aam admi.
Youth, even those who have good education, face the spectre of unemployment. Non-availability of bank credit has choked our small businesses. In the last 20 months, exports have registered negative growth. Farmers’ suicides and agrarian unrest have increased to astonishing levels. The Government is trying to hide its failures behind numbers that have been widely doubted and questioned.
There is another disturbing trend. BJP-ruled States are actively diluting and undermining laws passed by Parliament. The Land Acquisition Act and now the Real Estate Legislation are cases in point. The Modi government is lobbying with States via informal channels to deny work under MGNREGA to the very poor.
The government has swung from one extreme to another in dealing with Pakistan and the issues concerning J&K. In recent months, our jawans have suffered the highest casualties in decades. They are being cruelly ‘rewarded’ by a callous government with denial of OROP and cut in disability pensions. With State elections due in the coming months we can safely expect the Modi government to launch a campaign of disinformation and polarization. They will exploit caste and religious fault lines. We must anticipate and neutralize such deviousstrategies.
The Congress campaign in these States has so far received tremendous response. I congratulate my colleagues for their support in completing the Deoria to Delhi yatra and highlighting the plight of farmers to the entire nation.
In about two weeks, the Modi government will complete onehalf of its tenure. To a large extent, we have successfully exposed their anti-poor agenda and broken promises. We must continue our struggle to expose the comprehensive failure of the Modi government on all fronts.
For this, we have to rise to the occasion. This year we will commence the birth centenary celebrations of Indiraji. A main committee and several sub-committees have been constituted for this purpose. Later, RK Dhawanji and Anand Sharmaji will brief you on the various programs planned. Let us now proceed with the Agenda.