In a bitter attack on the Narendra Modi government, the Congress on Saturday said that the government was only obsessed with targeting its political opponents while the economy has moved from recession to crisis mode and the fiscal deficit widened to above 8 per cent as against government’s claims of 3.3 per cent.
“This government is obsessed with targeting its political opponents. It works with vendetta in mind, selectively identifying and targeting political opponents,” former Union minister Anand Sharma said.
“It is not only the Congress party and its leaders. In recent year it goes across political parties…but only those parties which are opposed to them whether it is Trinamool Congress, or Telugu Desam Party, the BSP or the Samajwadi Party, and the list is long. But when it comes to BJP, which itself is the richest political party in the world, there is no accountability or questioning,” Sharma said.
The senior Congress leader’s comments came on a day when former Karnataka deputy chief minister and congress leader G. Parameshwara's confidant Ramesh committed suicide in Bengaluru, days after income-tax sleuths raided Parameshwara's residence and office. The I-T sleuths had also questioned Ramesh.
“Now the Modi government has stooped to a new low. They are using the central agencies to target even the salaried employees of its opposition parties. These are salaried employees, not big sharks,” Sharma said.
“India cannot be converted into a state where people are living in fear insecurity, into a police state, a surveillance state where terror operates only on political opponents,” he said.
The Congress leader demanded to know if there are two different systems, two different set of laws and two Constitutions – one for the ruling BJP and the other for the Opposition.
“If it is the case, then it is a bad news for this country’s democracy,” Sharma said.
Sharma said that as per two reports which are in public domain, almost 99 per cent of the Electoral Bonds have gone to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“The amount in addition to that which has been spent on election. It would be in excess of Rs. 60,000 crore or in excess of that which the BJP has. From where that money comes? So, there is no targeting when it comes to the BJP,” he said, as he asked who the Treasurer of the BJP is.
“They should disclose it so that we know if there is a conflict of interest here. After all the BJP is a political party registered with the Election Commission of India. We are a rule-based and rule-governed country. The same rules apply to the BJP also. They are not above the law of the land,” he said.
Meanwhile, the youth wing of the Indian National Congress led by Srinivas BV, held a demonstration in front of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's residence in the national capital on Saturday, accusing the BJP-led government of pursuing vendetta politics.
The protesters, who were detained soon after they had launched the stir, alleged that the Centre is misusing central investigative agencies to target Opposition political leaders. Later, they were released after a brief detention.
During the demonstration at 15 Safdarjang Road, the demonstrators displayed a person inside a cage which a party statement said was a bid to tell the ruling dispensation to stop caging constitutional institutions or using them as instruments of revenge.
"Today, when the government has absolutely failed in all spheres of governance, it has started misusing government bodies to seek petty vengeance on Indian National Congress. All the prominent leaders are being targeted by BJP, by misusing constitutional institutions like IT, CBI, ED and so on," said a statement from the Youth Congress.
"Sanctity and autonomy of these constitutional institutions is in grave danger. These institutions seem to have become mere puppets in hands of ruling government," the statement added.
"BJP needs to stop stooping down to such low levels, where they are picking on individuals and targeting them on their political inclinations. We live in the largest democracy of the world, where every individual has the freedom to choose his or her political path," said Srinivas.
Senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and was sent to judicial custody in Tihar Jail for his alleged involvement in the INX media case. Senior Congress leader from Karnataka DK Shivakumar is also languishing in jail for over a month now after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case.