Sonia to meet President Pranab Mukherjee

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Congress president Sonia Gandhi will meet President Pranab Mukherjee to discuss about the growing intolerance and communal tensions in the country.

Congress sources said Gandhi will lead a party delegation to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The proposed meeting comes in the wake of a large number of writers and artistes returning their state awards in protest against the alleged “growing intolerance” towards intellectuals across the country.

On his part, the President himself has spoken on the issue several times in the recent past. “Our country has thrived due to its power of assimilation and tolerance. Our pluralistic character has stood the test of time… Multiplicity is our collective strength which must be preserved at all costs,” he had said, inaugurating the golden jubilee celebration of the Delhi high court on Saturday.

Gandhi too has consistently attacked the Modi government, claiming that ever since the Modi government assumed power, the intellectuals were being harassed and an effort has been made to stoke communal tensions through rumours in an apparent reference to the recent lynching of a man in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had dubbed these protests as “manufactured rebellion” and accused the Congress, Left thinkers and activists of “practising ideological intolerance” towards the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Presenting the 29th Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration to social activist PV Rajagopal on Saturday, Gandhi had said the people of a “particular ideology” were spreading hatred to divide people and that all of this was part of a “predetermined plan” but asserted that her party would not allow “such a diabolical design” to succeed.

Earlier in March, Gandhi had led a march of about 100 leaders from 11 opposition parties – Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, the Left Front, DMK, Trinamool Congress and others — to the Rashtrapati Bhawan against the NDA government’s controversial land acquisition bill.

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