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“It is not right in God’s sight to obey men rather than God.”

Sonia Gandhi leads Opposition charge against government

NEW DELHI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who had taken a backseat in the recent past, has once again taken on the responsibility of leading the party from the front and giving it direction, both inside parliament and outside.

On Tuesday, Sonia surprised everyone by initiating the discussion on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Amendment Bill, 2015, in the Lok Sabha. She targeted the BJP-led government for failing to fulfil the commitment made to the people of Andhra Pradesh during the bifurcation of the state.

And later in the day, Sonia led a march of 14 opposition parties from parliament to Rashtrapati Bhawan to protest against the government’s move to amend the 2014 Land Acquisition Act.

“We have come together to oppose the Narendra Modi government’s amendments to the right of fair compensation and transparency in Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation resettlement act 2013. “All the progressive, secular, democratic and forward looking forces are determined to defeat the Modi government’s design to promote divisions and social disharmony.

“We have come to the President to request him to intervene to protect the interest of our farmers and to impress upon Modi government not to go ahead with the amendments in the Rajya Sabha. These are some of the reasons for which we have come here,” Gandhi told the media after the delegation met the President.

JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, coordinator for the march, declared that it will be a fight to finish as the bill “is not only anti-farmer but also anti India”. “Country farmers have made us independent, we cannot snatch their right. This is going to be ‘aar-paar’ (do or die) battle; We have sounded the bugle for the war,” said Yadav.

Earlier, participating in a discussion in the house for the first time in this Lok Sabha, Sonia said the people of Andhra Pradesh were “deeply anguished over the apathy” being shown to them by the NDA government, and were beginning to feel that they were being “taken for granted”.

She said the government was not showing “the same sense of urgency” in fulfilling other key commitments made to the people of the state who have been “waiting patiently for over nine months”, as it was in bringing in a bill to increase the number of members in the Andhra Pradesh legislative council from 50 to 58.