Lok Sabha results 'political and moral defeat' of PM Modi: Sonia Gandhi

She said the PM had sought the mandate solely in his name to the exclusion of both his party and its allies, but has suffered a political and moral defeat
 Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Sonia Gandhi, K.C. Venugopal and others during the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, at the Parliament, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 8, 2024.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Sonia Gandhi, K.C. Venugopal and others during the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, at the Parliament, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 8, 2024.PTI

NEW DELHI: Congress Parliamentary Party president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday described the Lok Sabha election results as "political and moral defeat" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he has lost the moral right to leadership.

Addressing the newly elected MPs in the Central Hall of Parliament, she said far from taking responsibility for the failure, the prime minister intends to get himself sworn in again on Sunday.

"We do not expect him to change the substance and style of his governance, nor take cognisance of the will of the people," Sonia Gandhi said.

 Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Sonia Gandhi, K.C. Venugopal and others during the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, at the Parliament, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 8, 2024.
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She said the prime minister had sought the mandate solely in his name to the exclusion of both his party and its allies, but has suffered a political and moral defeat.

"In reality, he has lost the mandate he sought and thereby has lost the right to leadership as well. Yet, far from taking the responsibility for failure he intends to get himself sworn in again tomorrow. We do not expect him to change the substance and style of his governance, nor take cognisance of the will of the people," she said.

"That is why, as members of the CPP, we have a special obligation to be watchful, vigilant and proactive in holding him and his new NDA government accountable.

"No longer can and should bulldoze Parliament like it has been for a decade now.

No longer will the writ of the ruling establishment be permitted to disrupt Parliament, whimsically mistreat members or push through legislation without due and proper consideration and debate.

"No longer can and should parliamentary committees be ignored or by-passed like they have been since 2014.

No longer will Parliament be muzzled and stifled as it has been over the past 10 years," the CPP chief said.

 Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Sonia Gandhi, K.C. Venugopal and others during the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, at the Parliament, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 8, 2024.
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Observing that the times ahead were challenging, she told the Congress MPs that they have to be alert to prevent any attempts to increase polarisation and erosion of secular and democratic values enshrined in our Constitution by the ruling cabal.

All such attempts have to be thwarted, she said.

The Congress leader also said the Congress is also being bolstered by the strength of the INDIA bloc allies.

"Our numbers in Parliament have increased significantly.

Not only is the Indian National Congress a large contingent in the Lok Sabha but we are bolstered by the strength of our INDIA partners some of whom have themselves come back impressively," she said.

She also said the Bharat Jodo yatras were "historic movements".

"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," she said.

Sonia Gandhi, however, cautioned the MPs to reflect on what needs to be done to improve its position in the states where performance has been below expectation.

 Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Sonia Gandhi, K.C. Venugopal and others during the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, at the Parliament, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 8, 2024.
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