Country cannot be hostage to divisive and communal vision: Sonia Gandhi

sonia gandhi

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sonia said the election represented “a conflict of disparate values” and the battle should be fought hard.
  • She was addressing a meeting of MPs from several opposition parties on the eve of the presidential poll.

NEW DELHI: A day before the start of the monsoon session of Parliament, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi launched a scathing attack on the Modi government, saying the country could not be hostage to those “who wish to impose upon it a narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision”. Addressing a meeting of MPs from several opposition parties on the eve of the presidential poll, Sonia said the election represented “a conflict of disparate values” and the battle should be fought hard.

Admitting that the ruling BJP-led alliance had an edge in the presidential and vice-presidential poll, Sonia appealed for a conscience vote. “In these contests, the numbers may be against us. But the battle must be fought and fought hard. We cannot and must not let India be hostage to those who wish to impose upon it a narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision,” she said.

“This election represents a clash of ideas, a conflict of disparate values. The election demands a vote of conscience to preserve the India that the Mahatma and that illustrious generation of freedom fighters, joined by thousands upon thousands of ordinary men and women, fought for,” she added. The opposition’s presidential candidate Meira Kumar and vice-presidential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi were present at the meeting.

JD(U), which supports the NDA candidate for the presidential poll, was not present. The vice-presidential poll will be on August 5. Both elections take place through secret ballot and electors are not bound by any whip.

“Our meeting marks not only our coming together to protect and preserve our pluralistic democracy, but also our shared vision for our nation.

 What is at stake is our future, and the values we cherish and must uphold especially at this time of grave disquiet.” Stressing that parliamentarians must have confidence in the values they believe in, she said, “We must stand more aware than ever of who we are, what we fought for in our Independence struggle and what future we want for ourselves.
“The presence of so many of you from so many different parties to support our distinguished candidates confirms that the fight for an inclusive, tolerant and pluralistic India is being truly waged. It is a fight we will never give up.”

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