New Delhi: A combative Sonia Gandhi on Monday accused the Modi government of having "lost all sense of balance" and undermining democratic norms over the JNU row, making it clear that Congress will take up the issue aggressively along with like-minded parties in the Budget session of Parliament beginning Tuesday
"The ruling establishment seems to have lost all sense of balance, and of proportion. It appears determined to undermine all democratic norms. It seems hell-bent to destroy the spirit of inquiry, the spirit of questioning, the spirit of debate and dissent
"First, it muzzled our voice in the Lok Sabha. Then it silenced civil society activists and organisations. Now is the turn of universities", Gandhi said while addressing a meeting of the Congress Working Committee.
In a statement, the CWC meeting, which was attended by party vice president Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, lamented that Constitutional values and democratic norms are under "systematic assault".
"What has happened in a leading institution of higher learning and indeed in similar institutions, and the violence and hooliganism that happened in a court in the nation's capital has shocked the Nation", it said.
"It is a planned attack on the freedom of expression and the freedom to differ. A totally manufactured debate on patriotism and nationalism is being generated through manipulated news-clips to cover up the Government's failures and its heavy-handedness in dealing with student protesters", the apex policy making body of the Congress said.
The Congress in cooperation with other like-minded parties will raise these and other issues when Parliament begins Tuesday, the CWC said
"Parliament's duty is to debate and legislate," it said.
Gandhi said that contrary to what the government has been saying, Congress wants to make it clear once and for all that it wants Parliament to function, to legislate.
"The problem is not with us, it is with the government which refuses to accept that the democratic right of the Opposition is to raise burning public issues for debate and discussion. It is the government's responsibility to ensure that Parliament functions," she said.