Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday remarked that the Indian democracy is passing through “the most difficult times” as she urged party workers to “wage a struggle for people’s issues”.

Gandhi’s comment came at a meeting of All India Congress Committee general secretaries and state-incharges, which she presided over, PTI reported. The meeting assumes significance as it was held ahead of the Assembly elections in Bihar along with the bye-polls in various states, including for 28 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh.

In a video message posted from Congress’ official Twitter handle, Gandhi said her party’s aim was to keep fighting for the country. “Our root mantra is to serve people,” the Congress president said. “Today, the democracy is passing through its most difficult time, the voices of those who are suffering is being suppressed.”

Gandhi added that her party’s name was synonymous to fighting against these injustices. “I am confident that all experienced leaders of the Congress will work hard to overcome these tough times that our country today is facing,” she added.

Earlier in the day, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted about the meeting, which began at 4 pm. “Soniaji exhorted everyone to wage a struggle for people’s issues and ameliorating their sufferings as our democracy is passing through most difficult times,” he said.

The Congress has been at the forefront of delivering criticism about the ruling Narendra Modi government, which it alleges is anti-poor and anti-farmer. Recently, the party vehemently opposed the new farm bills of the government, both in Parliament and outside. The party has been carrying out nationwide protests against contentious laws, claiming it would destroy the fragile ecosystem of the rural economy.

Party leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have also been questioning the law and order situation in the state of Uttar Pradesh after four upper-caste men from the Thakur community brutally gangraped a Dalit woman in Hathras district. The Gandhis even visited the woman’s village twice, after failing the first time and getting detained on the way.

Rahul Gandhi has been a vociferous critic of the government and has criticised the Centre about the deteriorating state of India’s economy, the rising unemployment and the Chinese incursion along the Line of Actual Control.