Nanded (Maharashtra), July 14 (IANS) Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday accused the Narendra Modi-lead central government of “disrespecting public mandate” and overthrowing duly elected governments in Congress-ruled states in its greed for power.
Addressing a public rally in the Congress bastion of Nanded, Gandhi referred to the recent Supreme Court verdict restoring her party government in Arunachal Pradesh and charged the Modi government with “insulting popular mandate” by dismissing the elected government.
“The present government has no respect for the peoples’ mandate and toppled a duly elected government in its greed for power,” she said.
She said the country is proud of the apex court for protecting democracy and the Indian Constitution.
Gandhi also alleged that the National Democratic Alliance government was diluting the welfare schemes initiated by the previous United Progressive Alliance government led by Manmohan Singh.
These were for the benefit of farmers, tribals, minorities, women, other poor and vulnerable sections of society who are now put to immense hardships, she said.
“Thousands of crores rupees of loans to capitalists have been waived off but there is no relief for the farmers of the country who reel under drought and debts,” she alleged.
Earlier, she paid glowing tributes to the memory of the late party stalwart, Shankarrao B. Chavan, who was a two-time Chief Minister of Maharashtra and also a Union Minister, on the occasion of his 96th birth anniversary celebrations.
“Known as ‘headmaster’ for his administrative skills, Chavan was a close confidante of the late Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. He served the party and country with distinction in different capacities,” Gandhi said in her tribute.
She noted that Chavan been alive today, he would have been deeply hurt and would have resisted such unconstitutional steps of the BJP government.
Gandhi along with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated a full-size statue and a memorial museum-cum-library dedicated to Chavan as his son and former state Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the present of other top Congress leaders.
The function was held at the Shri Sharda Bhavan Education Society complex with a galaxy of Congress leaders like Shivraj Patil, Sushilkumar Shinde, D.Y. Patil, Prithviraj Chavan, Narayan Rane, Vishali Vilasrao Deshmukh, M.A. Naseem Khan and many others.
Chavan was the state Chief Minister on two occasions, including during the Emergency period and also served as Union minister under Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and P. V. Narasimha Rao, handling various portfolios including home, finance, external affairs, defence, education and was deputy chairman of the now defunct Planning Commission.
Shortly after their arrival to Nanded, Gandhi and Manmohan Singh offered prayers at the famous Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurudwara, which is one of the five ‘takhts’ (thrones) of temporal authority in Sikhism.