Modi, Shah out to destroy India’s democratic fabric through autocratic style of functioning: Ashok Gehlot

Speaking at a ‘Meet the press’ event on completion of 3 years of Congress government’s tenure in Rajasthan, CM Ashok Gehlot said BJP was misusing its powers to try intimidate Opposition leaders

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (File photo)
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (File photo)

Prakash Bhandari

Reacting to the alleged remarks by Meghalaya governor Satya Pal Malik that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was an “arrogant” person, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said that it seems that Modi and Malik along with Union Home Minister Amit Shah were hand in glove. He said he was unable to understand how Malik could make such strong remarks against the Prime Minister on his own and that what was attributed to Malik was nothing but a stage-managed show.

Malik claimed in a video that has gone viral that Modi was not ready to accept that the farmers who were protesting against the three agriculture laws of the Centre last year died due to him and instead asked him to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Malik is also heard saying in the video clip that when he met Shah, the latter told him that “people have clouded his [Modi’s] vision” and he should keep meeting the Prime Minister.

Speaking at a ‘Meet the press’ event on the completion of three years of Congress government’s tenure in Rajasthan, Gehlot said that both Modi and Shah were out to destroy the democratic fabric of the country through their autocratic style of functioning.

He said in a democratic set up, the country needs the Opposition, but the duo of Modi and Shah were out to ruin democratic values which have been in existence since Independence.

He said that the BJP was misusing power and using various wings under its control to raid the premises of Opposition leaders. He gave the instance of Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and said his sister’s house was raided by the Enforcement Directorate. “She was living in a two-room flat in Mumbai and one room of the flat was sealed. She was told that the room would be opened only after the officials receive orders from the high ups in Delhi,” Gehlot said.

He said the BJP government should be dubbed “Chhapa marne wali sarkar (A government known for conducting raids) on the premises of Opposition leaders.

He recounted that during the political crisis in the state in 2020, tax officials raided the house of his brother in Jodhpur just to terrorise him (Gehlot).

He said the business and industrialists of the country are so terrorised by the BJP that 95 percent of the funding done by them in electoral bonds have gone into the account of the BJP and only about five percent to Opposition parties.

Gehlot said that Union Minister Piyush Goyal is being sent to industrialists to raise funds for the party. He said Goyal used coercive methods to force businessmen and industrialists, who have suffered losses, to dole out funds for the BJP. He alleged that those industrialists who refused to give money are threatened by Goyal.

Gehlot also reiterated his demand that the Centre give booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine to people above 60 years and the frontline health workers and allow vaccination for children. “The third and fourth doses of vaccines are being administered in several countries. The Central government should allow booster doses without delay,” he said.

He said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been issuing warnings and suggesting that the booster dose has become mandatory for all those who had taken two doses of vaccination.

Gehlot said he has launched vaccination of young people in the age group of 15 to 18 years. It is estimated that about 53 lakh persons of this age group will be vaccinated in the state.

Gehlot listed the achievements of his government in the last three years and said that the state has launched several schemes which are being taken as model schemes by other states.

He said the Chiranjeevi healthcare scheme and the free medicine scheme are the most popular schemes that benefit all segments.

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