In a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday accused them of misleading people on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens, and claimed that their government stands totally exposed for its inability to govern and provide security to people.
Asserting that there was "unprecedented turmoil" in the country, Mrs Gandhi said the government has let loose a reign of oppression, spreading hatred and trying to divide people along sectarian lines.
"The nation has watched in horror the BJP-orchestrated assault on JNU coming so soon after what happened in Jamia (Millia Islamia), BHU (Banaras Hindu University), Allahabad University and AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) and other institutions of higher learning in other parts of the country," she said addressing a meeting of the Opposition attended by leaders of 20 parties.
She urged the opposition parties to work together and thwart the designs of the government.
The Modi-Shah government stands totally exposed for its inability to govern and to provide security to people, Mrs Gandhi alleged.
There have been nation-wide spontaneous protests by youths supported by citizens from all walks of life, she said.
"The immediate cause is the CAA and NRC but they reflect widespread frustration and pent up anger, which is now out in the open. The response of the police in UP and Delhi has been shockingly partisan and brutal," the Congress chief said.
"The prime minister and the home minister have misled people. They have contradicted their own statements of only weeks ago, and continue with their provocative statements while remaining insensitive to the state suppression and violence that is increasingly becoming commonplace," she said.
The Constitution is being undermined and the instruments of governance are being misused, Mrs Gandhi alleged.
Students and the young have in particular been targeted and in several parts of the country, especially in Uttar Pradesh, large sections of the population are being harassed and attacked, Mrs Gandhi said.
Asserting that the NRC seems to have back-fired in Assam, Gandhi said the Modi-Shah government is now focusing on NPR (National Population Register) exercise that is scheduled to begin in a few months.
"Contrary to the assertions of the home minister, it is clear that this is being done to lead to a nation-wide NRC," Mrs Gandhi said.
The real issue facing India today is the collapse of economic activity and slowing growth and development, affecting all sections of society, especially the poor and the disadvantaged, the Congress president said.