It calls for a joint parliamentary committee rehearsal for Arnab Goswami’s WhatsApp chats on Republic TV. A decision was delayed from Friday until June when the Congress Working Committee (CWC) adopted three resolutions, including one asking that WhatsApp’s promoter, Arnab Goswami, be heard by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
In the ‘decisive’ battle against farm rules, the other two resolutions were about helping farmers’ organizations and expressing gratitude to scientists for creating the COVID-19 vaccine in record time. The party called on citizens to come out and vaccinate themselves.
Explaining the reason for the delay, the Secretaries-General of the Party K.C. Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala said that while May had been suggested by the central electoral authority, it was deferred to Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry in the aftermath of the Assembly elections.
Another problem that required some clarification was whether, Mr. Venugopal said, the election of CWC members (12 out of 25 are intended to be elected) should be held along with the party president or later after the new president has taken over.
In her opening speech to the CWC, Party Chairman Sonia Gandhi addressed all questions taken as a resolution and accused the administration of “deafening silence” on the WhatsApp chats. Discussing Parliament’s budget session, she said there are several issues of public interest that need to be addressed, but it remains to be seen if a debate would be decided by the government. The government, she said, has caused untold misery on the people of the nation by the way it has treated the pandemic of Covid-19.
Agitation from farmers:
She said, “The agitation of farmers continues, and the government has shown shocking insensitivity and arrogance through the charade of consultations,” referring to the ongoing talks between the Centre and farmers.
It is painfully clear that the three laws were prepared in haste and that Parliament was deliberately declined an opportunity to investigate their consequences and effects in any substantive detail. From the very beginning, our stance has been very clear: we categorically condemn them because they would undermine the foundations of food security based on the three pillars of MSP [minimum aid price], public procurement, and PDS [public distribution system],’ she noted.
Without naming the promoter of Republic TV, she said, “A few days ago, I think, Antonyji said that leaking official secrets of military operations is treason.” And yet, the government’s silence on what has been discovered has been deafening. Those who offer patriotism and nationalism certificates to others are now completely exposed.
Ms. Gandhi expressed trust that it would be done to the fullest degree to vaccinate front line health workers and employees. She accused the government of causing untold misery on individuals through its ‘bad’ COVID-19 pandemic management. Gandhi expressed the hope of continuing and completing the Covid-19 vaccination drive process to the fullest extent. “It will take years to heal the scars,” she says.
Grim economic scenario:
The economic situation remains bleak and, according to the President of Congress, major parts of the economy such as MSME and the informal sector have been decimated with the government declining to offer a lifeline. “It is painful to find huge amounts of money being allocated and spent on initiatives that can only be described as ‘personal vanity projects’ when the public expenditure has to be carefully prioritized,” she said. Although the economic situation remained bleak, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) were decimated and, instead of prioritizing public spending, the government wasted money on personal vanity projects.
“The government has been hit by panic privatization and this is something that the Congress Party can never accept and support,” Gandhi said. The head of Congress also asked the party office bearers to list the organizational election schedule and modalities that must be accepted by the CWC.
How the government has relaxed labor and environmental regulations and is pressing forward with the sell-off of carefully built-up public assets is equally distressing. The government has been captured by hysteria privatization, and this is something that Congress will never embrace and endorse,” she added.