Ashok Gehlot, Prithviraj Chavan condemn freezing of Congress bank accounts

Prithviraj Chavan claims 11 accounts belonging to the Congress across four banks have been frozen by the Income Tax department

Ashok Gehlot addresses a press conference in Jaipur on 22 March (photo: PTI)
Ashok Gehlot addresses a press conference in Jaipur on 22 March (photo: PTI)
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PTI

Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan hit out at the BJP government at the Centre for freezing the bank accounts of the Congress and said democracy was being "murdered" in the country.

At a press conference at the Congress office in Jaipur, Gehlot said, "Democracy is being murdered in the country. And you can understand that without the permission of Modi ji and Amit Shah, not even a leaf moves at the Centre."

Gehlot also condemned the arrest of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying the BJP will go to any length to win the Lok Sabha elections.

Chavan on Friday, 22 March, said his party was unable to access funds for Lok Sabha poll campaign related expenses due to the "freeze" on accounts and asserted the Election Commission of India must intervene.

Chavan, who is the party's campaign committee chief for Maharashtra, claimed 11 accounts belonging to the Congress across four banks had been frozen by the Income Tax department.

"It is unfortunate the Election Commission has not intervened. Freezing accounts over reassessment of taxes dating back to 1994 not only stifles the Congress but democracy itself. This is a clear indication the Union government is engaging in unfair practices," he said.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's lack of confidence in the current general election is evident as his government is resorting to various tactics to defeat the INDIA alliance and MVA through any means. Freezing the Congress party's accounts is just one example," he alleged.

Meanwhile, the senior Rajasthan Congress leader said the actions of the BJP government will lead to the party's downfall.

"The country is going through a dangerous phase... the Constitution is being shattered to pieces," he said.

Gehlot's reaction came a day after former Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanded that the party be given access to its bank accounts to ensure a level playing field for the Lok Sabha polls and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making a systematic effort to cripple the party financially.

Congress leader Govind Singh Dotasra and leader of the Opposition Tikaram Jully also attacked the BJP and the central government on this issue.

Dotasra said, "Ever since Modi ji came in 2014, one attack after another is being made on democracy. It is being done on opposition parties too. Constitutional institutions are being misused."

Later, in a post on X, Gehlot said, "BJP is bent on killing democracy! By freezing the bank accounts of the Congress and arresting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the BJP, which is involved in the huge electoral bond scam, has made it clear that it will use all tactics to win the elections."

"This dictatorial tendency of the BJP is bent on creating a system like China and Russia by strangulating elections system," he added.

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