Oppn leaders treated like enemies during protests over Rahul questioning: Gehlot

The Narendra Modi-led BJP government is setting a wrong trend by targeting political opponents, the Rajasthan chief minister said

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (IANS Photo-file)
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (IANS Photo-file)
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PTI

It seems police in the country is anticipating a time ahead when dictatorship comes into full force, Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said on Monday while alleging that opposition leaders were treated like enemies during their protests against Rahul Gandhi's questioning by the ED.

The Narendra Modi-led BJP government is setting a wrong trend by targeting political opponents, the Rajasthan chief minister said, adding that there have been political movements in the past but "this face of the police" has shown itself for the first time.

"Police targeted our leaders, especially women, and beat them up and detained them for long hours," Gehlot told reporters.

The Enforcement Directorate questioned Rahul Gandhi for 50 hours over five days in a money laundering case related to the National Herald newspaper.

"For the first time, they (Congress leaders) were treated like enemies, as if they were not Indian citizens. This happened for five days. This is a federal nation and states can also start doing the same and use similar methods through state police on opposition BJP. Should we also start doing the same in states?" Gehlot asked.

"We are seeing the terror of the police for the first time. This is worrying. I feel the police in the country are anticipating a time ahead when dictatorship comes into full force," he said.

He said there is no enmity in politics and ruling and opposition parties play their own role. The opposition comes forward and courts arrest but police should have dealt with this appropriately.

"The BJP is looting the country through corruption and through donations. There is complete liberty to loot in the current regime, which was not there even during Vajpayee rule," he alleged.

"The way Rahul Gandhi was questioned for 50 hours in five days, it has never happened in the country. But the manner in which Rahul ji faced ED is also commendable," Gehlot noted.

New records were set when he was questioned without lunch and his questioning continued till 1 am, the veteran leader said.

"Never has this kind of questioning of opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi happened. They have created a case of money laundering where there is no exchange of money involved," he added.

The Congress' programmes, policies and principles are in consonance with the Constitution, Gehlot said, asserting that the Congress has taken everyone and every section of society in the country along together in the last 70 years.


Noting that the politics of religion will not take the country far, he said, "I want to ask BJP/RSS leaders for how long will they continue to instigate people of the country in the name of religion. Will they be able to keep the nation together while talking about Hindu religion?

"Will they be able to keep the nation together by creating a Hindu rashtra? Tomorrow they will instigate Scheduled Castes and others."

There is no guarantee, he stressed, that the country can remain together even if there is only one religion.He went on to cite the example of Pakistan.

Gehlot said the BJP leadership talks of a 'Congress-mukt Bharat" but their seven generations will not be able to achieve that.

Discussing the protests over the Agnipath scheme, he said, "They are instigating youth... threatening those who participate in protests against the scheme by saying they will not be eligible and will have to give a police certificate on non-participation in the protests."

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