New Delhi: Under attack over AgustaWestland issue, a combative Sonia Gandhi today hit back at the Modi government, saying it should “not try to frighten” Congress and that life has taught her “to fight on”, as she, Rahul Gandhi and other top party leaders courted arrest after they were stopped from marching to Parliament.
“Do not make the mistake of thinking that the Congress party is weak. We will not allow democratic institutions to be weakened or destroyed,” she said at a ‘Save Democracy’ rally held by the party at Jantar Mantar here, before they tried to march to Parliament.
A heavy police posse stopped the protesters after which Sonia, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and others courted arrest at the Parliament Street police station. They were released after a short while.
“Do not try to frighten or defame us. Life has taught me to fight on,” the Congress Chief said, in the backdrop of the bribery allegations in the VVIP chopper deal case.
“Today those who do not agree with them are harassed,” she said, addressing the rally, and warned “Inke din ab poore hogaye hai” (Their days are over now). People can teach them a lesson if they continue to indulge in it.”
Targeting RSS, Sonia said, “We have to send a message so strong that people sitting in Raisina Hill and Nagpur sit up and listen.”
Accusing the Modi government of “murdering democracy and destroying democratic institutions”, she said, “I want to say clearly that whatever effort you make to destroy democracy, we will not allow it to happen. We are used to waging struggle and we have faced many challenges in the past.
“Congress is not new to struggle. We have shed blood for the cause of the nation. We are the people who have given blood and laid down our lives to protect the basic principles. We will not withdraw from it.”
Referring to the political crisis in Arunachal and Uttarakhand, she accused the Modi government of dislodging democratically-elected Congress governments “with the use of money power”.
“They have murdered democracy. Today the forests in Uttarakhand are burning but there is no government to douse the blaze,” the Congress President said.
On the raging farmers’ suicide issue, Sonia said, “We had
taken steps for the betterment of farmers, workers, women and youth. But this government has destroyed it. Everybody is feeling harassed and sad today. Farmers are committing suicide. They have assumed power by showing false dreams.”
She said Congress will continue to fight inside and outside Parliament against injustice.
The Congress Chief appealed to her partymen “to reach out to the people and unmask Modi government in a democratic way”.
“We will not allow the democratic set up to be destroyed,” she said.