Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in sharp comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, said it was "painfully clear" that his "minimum government, maximum governance" policy meant keeping the country in a permanent state of polarisation, brutalising minorities and threatening political opponents. "Our eloquent PM" is silent when his healing touch is most needed, she said at a party "Chintan Shivir" that began at Rajasthan's Udaipur this afternoon.
"PM Narendra Modi and his party keep calling for 'minimum government, maximum governance'... It means keeping the country in a permanent state of polarisation, compelling people to stay in a constant state of fear and insecurity. It means viciously targeting, victimising and brutalising minorities who are an integral part of our society and equal citizens of our republic," Sonia Gandhi alleged.
"It means using our society's age-old pluralities to divide us and subverting a carefully nurtured idea of unity and diversity. It means threatening and intimidating political opponents, maligning their reputation, jailing them on flimsy pretexts using investigative agencies," said the Congress chief.
"It means constant degradation of our leaders, especially Jawaharlal Nehru. It means glorifying the killers of Mahatma Gandhi. It means weakening democracy, it means diversionary tactics and the silence of our eloquent PM when his healing touch is most needed. It means dividing society and weaken our age-old plurality and unity," she added.
Urging Congress leaders to debate with an open mind and express their views openly, Sonia Gandhi said changes in the Congress organisation were the need of the hour and the meeting was about "chintan on national issues as well as meaningful aatmachintan on the organisation".
"Changes in the organisation are the need of the hour. We need to change the way of our working," said the Congress leader.
"I urge partymen to express views openly at the Shivir, but one message of strong party and unity should go out to the country," she urged.
Over 400 party leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will participate in discussions over the next few days in the brainstorming meet at Rajasthan's Udaipur.
"We have to keep organisation above personal ambitions. The party has given us a lot and it is time to pay back," Sonia Gandhi said.