“BJP’s Achche Din will turn into a bigger debacle than Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Shining India”, says Sonia Gandhi


Reimagining India - The agenda for change “BJP’s Achche Din will turn into a bigger debacle than Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Shining India”, says Sonia Gandhi Mumbai, 9th March 2018: In her key note address chairperson of the UPA, Sonia Gandhi said that the Indian society is under systematic and consistent attack in the present situation. She alleged that the ruling BJP is refashioning the idea of India. The distorted perception and rewriting history and slamming nation builders are dangers for the society. Gandhi asked whether India was a giant blackhole before 2014 and progress started only after that. She observed that provocative statements from the ruling party leaders are not accidental but they are part of a design. Freedom to differ, eat and marry is under attack. India’s social DNA is being reengineered. Questioning the government’s claim that 7.5 million jobs were created in 2017. “Unless one myth is demolished another one takes place.” In later half of the session, Gandhi replied candidly to several questions by India Today Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie. She said that the Opposition parties should sink their differences at the local level if they want to build a joint force against the BJP. She clarified that she will continue to coordinate with the like minded parties though she is feeling relieved after stepping out as Congress president. Gandhi admitted that corruption was an issue which led to the UPA defeat in 2014. However, she was quick to claim that the corruption charges against the government were “highly exaggerated”. She said, “We could not communicate our policies to the common people. We could not match with the kind of their (BJP) marketing.” Without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi Gandhi compared him with the other BJP PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “Vajpayeeji had great respect for parliamentary proceedings.” She complained that the BJP does not allow the Congress members to speak in the Parliament. Slamming the BJP for making tall promises which cannot be fulfilled Gandhi predicted BJP’s rout in the next election. “I am confident that the BJP’s ‘Achche Din’ is turned into ‘Shinning India’,” she said referring to the party’s failed campaign in 2004 which threw it out of power. Gandhi also admitted that she did not want her husband the late Rajiv Gandhi to become PM because she feared he would also be killed like her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi. Gandhi was also On her daughter Priyanka’s entry into politics, Gandhi said, “I don’t see it now. One never knows about future.” She also said that she backed out from the post of PM because Manmohan Singh would have been the better PM than her though he was untested. IDEAS GENERATED DURING THE SESSION Indian society needs unity without imposing uniformality. Indian tradition is inclusive. The republic needs independent, robust institutions. Noise of politics is music to the democracy. Economic growth must be inclusive and systainable. The mob vigilantes, private armies, atrocities against Dalits and women reason for concern QUOTES Public discourse is not an abuse, conversations is not monologue Parliamentary majority is interpreted as license to stifle and bulldoze legislations RTI was brought for transparency. It is in cold storage. Does it maximum government and minimum truth? Skillful packaging and lavish marketing should not be taken ANECDOTES Sonia Gandhi took lessons in Hindi from an institute in Delhi’s Gree Park area. She admitted that she should have spoken more in Hindi than in English. She said that she was reluctant over Rajiv joining politics because she felt that will end their family life INDIA TODAY CONCLAVE Started as part of India Today’s 25th anniversary, INDIA TODAY CONCLAVE was designed as a meeting point for the best minds from India and around the world to map the geopolitical and economic future of the country. In its inaugural year the theme was India Tomorrow 2002: Opportunities and Threats with Vice President of the USA Al Gore as the chief Guest. In its second year the theme was India Tomorrow 2003: Global Giant or Pygmy? The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States presided as the keynote speaker. The past 14 conclaves have been widely acclaimed and popular for the quality of speakers and discussion. The speakers who have been part of this conference each year are current and former heads of state, Nobel Laureates, spiritual leaders, industry captains, social workers, economists, authors, academics, scientist, strategists, activists, cine directors, actors and sportspersons. The past conferences can be accessed at www.indiatodayconclave.com

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