In her first 2019 Lok Sabha election address, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday tore into the BJP on the issue of nationalism, saying that people who refused to accept the diversity of India were calling themselves patriots. Addressing Peoples’ Agenda- Jan Sarokar 2019 event in Delhi, Sonia Gandhi said, "Today we are being taught a new definition of patriotism. Those who do not accept diversity are being called patriots. We are being expected that we should tolerate arbitrariness of few people in terms of food, clothing, and freedom of expression."
The UPA chairperson accused the Narendra Modi government of undermining the welfare architecture of the country that was laid down over the last 65 years. "Regressive forces have systematically dismantled our institutions. The current government has undermined the welfare architecture that was laid down over last 65 years," Gandhi said.
The Congress leader claimed that the Manmohan Singh led UPA government worked spearheaded policies that helped shaping the dreams and aspirations of crores of Indians.
"When UPA was in power, under the leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh, govt and civil society worked together. It wasn't an easy task, but with the support of civil society, our government spearheaded policies that gave shape to the dreams and aspirations of crores of fellow Indians," She said.
Gandhi quoted Congress leader and country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru's remarks that there is no place for convenience or comfort while creating a future. "There should be no difference in the words and actions of the government. We have shown this before and will do it even further," she said.
Sonia Gandhi will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli. She is representing the seat since 1999.