New Delhi: In a first, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi chaired the Congress Working Committee meeting, that began on Monday, as his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi skipped the meet due to her ill health.
Rahul, who chaired the meet, launched a frontal attack on the Narendra Modi government by calling it 'power obssessed' and called on the party members to expose Centre's failures during the upcoming Winter Parliament session.
"The democracy under the present dispensation is going through one of its darkest hours and that the government is silencing all those who disagree with it," the Congress vice-president said in his opening remarks at the CWC meet.
Launching a blistering attack on PM Modi, Rahul said, "The Modi government is obsessed with power, it seeks to silence all those who disagree. Asking questions is what discomforts this government, for they have no answers. We must expose government's failures in upcoming Parliament Session."
"Hiding behind the cloak of national security, civil society is being intimidated for asking questions. The Opposition is being arrested for holding the government to account. All attempts by this government to suppress our fundamental freedom by abusing state power will only strengthen our resolve to defeat such dangerous designs," Rahul said.
Continuing to press heavily on the Modi government over its failure in dealing effectively with Pakistan, Rahul stated that the Centre has swung from one extreme to another in dealing with Islamabad and the issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir.
Pointing out that Indian soldiers have suffered the highest casualties in a decade, Rahul further attacked the government in Centre by adding that the Armed Forces are being cruelly rewarded by a callous government with denial of OROP and cut in disability pensions.
"Our jawans are being cruelly rewarded by a callous Govt with denial of OROP and cut in disability pensions," he said.
Highlighting the alleged failures of the government, he said atrocities against Dalits 'go unabated' and 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 out small businesses. In the last 20 months, exports have registered negative growth," he charged.
Gandhi said farmers' suicides and agrarian "unrest" have increased to "astonishing levels" and the government is trying to hide its failures behind numbers that have been widely "doubted and questioned".
The BJP-ruled states are actively "diluting and undermining" laws passed by Parliament, he said dubbing them as "another disturbing trend".
Rahul further called on the Congress gathering to continue its fight to expose the comprehensive failures of the Modi government on all fronts.
The CWC meeting is being attended by top brass, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and is expected to take stock of the current political situation and organisational matters and discuss its plan for assembly elections to other states including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa and Manipur next year.