Sonia says power concentrated in a handful of politicians, business persons, calls it “dangerous cocktail”

The power has become intensely concentrated over the past eight years in a handful of politicians and business persons, which is undermining India’s democracy and institutions, said Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday.

“The independence of our institutions is being eroded and their role as balancers of the competing demands and aspirations of a wide range of social groups is being intentionally undermined,” she wrote in an op-ed piece in the Hindustan Times.

“As a result, election outcomes are being subverted by money power sustained by electoral bonds and cronyism. State agencies turn on any political party that opposes the current dispensation,” Gandhi said.

“Weaker sections, minorities, women and civil society are under constant attack, supported by significant sections of the media. Parliament is not being allowed to function, forcing discontent to spill onto the streets,” she said.

“This dangerous cocktail will only weaken our national fabric and create openings for India’s internal and external enemies,” Gandhi added.

According to tallest Congress leader, the constitutional values and principles are under assault, with the bonds of social harmony being deliberately stretched to a breaking point in order to keep voters polarised for electoral gains.

The independent authorities have been reduced to “tools of the executive”, ready to do its bidding in a partisan and heavy-handed way, Gandhi alleged.

Sonia Gandhi’s article comes amid the Congress’ Kanyakumari to Kashmir mega rally Bharat Jodo Yatra. Rahul Gandhi, along with several top leaders of the party, began the Yatra from Kanyakumari last week.

Congress leader claimed that the UPA government invested in health and education and initiatives such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Food Security Act and Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAS) as well as the Right to Information Act and Aadhaar, improved welfare effectiveness and lifted tens of millions out of poverty.

“Under the United Progressive Alliance, we understood that it was important to make sure that resources and opportunities flowed to all citizens in a time of rapid growth and rising inequality,” she said.

Gandhi also said that the people must come together and resist these “powerful forces”.