How Sonia Gandhi Plans to Hold the New Modi Govt Accountable

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on June 8, 2024. Photo: Congress
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on June 8, 2024. Photo: Congress

How Sonia Gandhi Plans to Hold the New Modi Govt Accountable

Sonia Gandhi asked the Congress leaders to be watchful, vigilant, and proactive in holding Modi and his new NDA government accountable.

By Rakesh Raman

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi – after getting reelected on June 8 as chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) – addressed the party members on June 9 – the day Narendra Modi took the oath as the prime minister (PM) of India for the third consecutive term.

Sonia Gandhi said that Modi had sought the mandate in the recently concluded 2024 Lok Sabha election solely in his name. But his party and its allies have suffered a political, and worse, a moral defeat. In reality, he (Modi) has lost the mandate he sought and thereby lost the right to leadership as well, Sonia Gandhi said. 

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could win only 240 parliamentary seats while 272 seats are required for majority in the parliament. However, Modi formed the coalition government under the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with support from smaller parties. 

While it is largely believed that Modi and BJP win elections with the selective manipulation of electronic voting machines (EVMs), Modi rejected the opposition parties’ accusations of EVM tampering. 

After BJP’s dismal performance in the Lok Sabha election, Modi hinted that EVM manipulation did not happen in the election and asked opposition parties to stop blaming EVMs for the next 5 years. That means, there is a possibility that EVMs will continue to be manipulated selectively in the future state elections and the Lok Sabha election of 2029. 

Meanwhile, reports suggest that Congress is collecting evidence of EVM frauds in the recent Lok Sabha election, as the EVM tampering cannot be ruled out. It is believed that if voting is done on ballot papers instead of EVMs, neither Modi nor BJP can win any election. 

The Wire news service reported on June 10 that in over 140 Lok Sabha seats during the 2024 election, more EVM votes were counted than EVM votes polled. It has given data for different parliamentary constituencies where discrepancies are visible. Since the Election Commission of India (ECI) works without any accountability, there will be no repercussions for this possible voting fraud.

As part of the INDIA bloc of over 20 political groups, Congress won just 99 seats in the bloc’s tally of 232 in the Lok Sabha election. Sonia Gandhi said while Modi has no moral right to become the PM again, he has decided to retain the PM position. 

She congratulated all the newly elected Lok Sabha MPs of her party, saying that they have fought a tough election under the most challenging circumstances. Congress has improved its strength in the Lok Sabha from 52 members in the 2019 election to 99 now.

[ Video: सोनिया गांधी नई मोदी सरकार को जवाबदेह बनाने की योजना कैसे बना रही हैं ]

“The Indian National Congress has once again demonstrated its resilience. It was up against a mighty and malevolent machine that was doing its utmost to destroy us. It tried to cripple us financially. It carried out a campaign against us and our leaders that was full of lies and defamation. Many wrote our obituaries!” Sonia Gandhi said in her speech.

She added that under the determined leadership of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge the party persevered. Sonia Gandhi also praised the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra which were led by her son Rahul Gandhi to campaign for the party across the country.

“Rahul deserves special thanks for his tenacity and determination to fight on in the face of unprecedented personal and political attacks. He also shaped our narrative on guarantees and protection of the Constitution very sharply,” Sonia Gandhi praised her son who has also won the election. 

She also expressed her relief on the fact that the number of Congress MPs in the parliament has increased significantly. They will be supported by the INDIA group partners some of whom have themselves come back impressively, the Congress leader said.

She also said that after the Congress’s better performance in the Lok Sabha election, now the party should consolidate its position in the upcoming state elections, as the party has not been performing well in states.

She asked the Congress leaders to be watchful, vigilant, and proactive in holding Modi and his new NDA government accountable. While the parliament had lost its relevance during the past 10 years of the Modi regime, Sonia Gandhi expects that all parliamentary processes will be restored and the defunct Parliamentary Committees will start working again.

“This is a renewed opportunity for us as a party that established parliamentary democracy in our country to bring parliamentary politics back on track to where they legitimately belong,” Sonia Gandhi asserted.

In this election, she said, the people have voted decisively to reject the politics of divisiveness and authoritarianism; they have voted to strengthen parliamentary politics and safeguard our Constitution; they have voted for the agenda of economic and social justice that indeed should continue to be our objective and guide.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

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