NEW DELHI: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi hit out at the Central government on multiple issues at the Congress' parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday and said that the Congress will continue to support the cause of the farmers.
Sonia Gandhi said that the three farm laws were repealed "undemocratically", just as their passage last year was pushed through without discussion. She added that the Congress stands firm in its commitment to stand by the farmers in their demands for a legally guaranteed MSP, remunerative prices that meet the costs of cultivation and compensation to the bereaved families.
Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) at Central Hall in the Parliament, she said, "Farmers and their organisations have been strongly protesting and agitating against these laws for the past thirteen months. It is the solidarity and tenacity, of the farmers, their discipline and dedication that has forced an arrogant Government to climbdown. Let us salute them for their great achievement. Let us remember that more than 700 farmers have been martyred in the past twelve months and honor their sacrifice."
She attacked the Centre over price rise of essential commodities and the Narendra Modi-led Centre's failed attempts to address the issue.
"Since this session commenced, we have also been raising the issue of spiralling prices of all essential commodities. I cannot understand how and why the Modi Government is so insensitive and that it continues to deny the seriousness of the problem. It seems impervious to the suffering of the people," she added.
Terming the reduction in petrol, diesel and cooking gas prices a totally insufficient and inadequate move, Sonia Gandhi said, "As usual, the government has passed on the responsibility for duty cuts to financially strapped state governments - when it itself has far greater room for action. And all this while, the Centre persists with huge public expenditure on vain glorious projects! The prices of edible oils, pulses and vegetables are burning a hole in the monthly budget of every household. The rising prices of cement, steel and other basic industrial commodities also does not bode well for economic recovery."
On the ongoing rift at the India-China border, she said it is extraordinary that Parliament has been given no opportunity whatsoever so far to have a discussion on the challenges we continue to face on our borders.
"Such a discussion would have also been an opportunity to demonstrate a collective will and resolve. The government may not want to answer difficult questions but it is the right and duty of the Opposition to seek clarifications and explanations. The Modi Government steadfastly refuses to allocate time for a debate. I would once again urge for a full-fledged discussion on the border situation and relations with our neighbours," she added.
With new Covid-19 variant Omicron creating global scare, she said "medical experts have clearly said that every adult must receive two doses of vaccination."
"The Modi Government indulged in massive publicity and celebrations when the 100-crore dose mark was reached. Needless to say, it never bothered to mention that the 100-crore mark figure was for a single vaccination only. The sad reality is that the country is nowhere close to reaching the level of double-dose vaccination announced by the Government for the end of the year. Efforts must clearly be intensified—the daily vaccination dose has to increase four-fold so that even 60 per cent of the population is covered with both doses," she said.
She demanded justice for families of civilians killed in Nagaland by army and that credible steps must be taken to prevent the recurrence of such ghastly tragedies.
On the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs, Sonia Gandhi called it outrageous and unprecedented, and that it violates both the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States.