'BJP shamelessly attempts to subvert democracy in Maha'

Sonia Gandhi also attacked the governor of the state, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, saying he had acted in an "unprecedented and reprehensible manner". (PTI Photo)

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday launched a diatribe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah accusing them of making “shameless” attempts to “subvert democracy” in Maharashtra, which was “totally exposed” by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance.

Addressing a meeting of the Congress Party in Parliament, Gandhi asserted that the three-party alliance in Maharashtra was united in its resolve to defeat the BJP's “sordid manipulations”.

She also accused the Modi-Shah duo of diverting attention from day-to-day livelihood concerns by pursuing divisive policies, accusing them of being bankrupt in decency and clueless on managing the grave problems facing the nation.

Gandhi said the election results in Maharashtra and Haryana had proved those predicting doom for the Congress to be “hopelessly wrong”.

“The results certainly punctured the BJP’s self-importance and boosted our party’s morale,” she said, cautioned her colleagues of BJP's attempts at intimidation to “scare us into submission”.

“But, we will not buckle under pressure, we will fight every battle with grit and determination,” Gandhi said expressing confidence of being able to “turn the tide” against the BJP collectively.

Gandhi accused Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari of behaving an “unprecedented and most reprehensible manner. “There is no doubt that he acted under instructions from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister,” she said referring to the early morning swearing-in of Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister with NCP leader Ajit Pawar as his deputy on Saturday.

The Congress President said, the BJP's pre-poll alliance with the Shiv Sena did not hold because of its own arrogance and over-confidence. “Every effort was made blatantly to sabotage the three-party alliance government formation, but we appealed to the Supreme Court and the Modi-Shah government was totally exposed,” she said.

Sharpening her attack over the WhatsApp snooping controversy, Gandhi accused the Modi government of trying to “soft-pedal” the revelations of “violation of fundamental rights of citizens”.

“This was all the more shocking since access to such software acquired from Israel is admittedly restricted only to government defence agencies. What was the government’s role in violating the fundamental rights of the citizens concerned? But as always, it remains silent,” she said.

On electoral bonds, Gandhi said it appeared to a yet another “clandestine operation” done against the advice of the RBI to benefit the ruling party and protect its financiers.

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