• Saturday, April 13, 2024

India News

Modi’s party acting out of panic, says India’s opposition

Congress party president Mallikarjun Kharge (C) addresses a press conference along with party leaders Sonia Gandhi (L) and Rahul Gandhi (R) at the Congress party headquarters in New Delhi on March 21, 2024. (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Pramod ThomasBy: Pramod Thomas

VARIOUS constituents of the INDIA bloc condemned Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest on Thursday (21) and claimed that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is scared of the outcome of the upcoming polls and acting out of panic to create problems for the opposition.

Soon after Kejriwal’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate, India’s main financial crimes investigation agency, in an excise policy-linked money-laundering case, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the “arrogant” BJP is making false claims of victory every day and trying to weaken the opposition by indulging in “illegal means” ahead of the election.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that a “scared dictator” wants to create a dead democracy and said the INDIA bloc will give a befitting reply to such designs.

“A scared dictator wants to create a dead democracy,” he said in a post in Hindi on X.

“While capturing all the institutions, including the media, breaking up parties, extorting money from companies, freezing the accounts of the main opposition party were not enough for the ‘devilish power’, now the arrest of elected chief ministers has also become a common thing,” Gandhi said.

“INDIA will give a befitting reply to this,” he added.

Kharge said in a post on X, “If there was real confidence of victory then the accounts of the main opposition party — Congress party would not have been frozen by misusing the constitutional institutions and leaders of opposition parties would not have been targeted right before the elections.

“The truth is that BJP is already scared of the upcoming election results and in panic is creating all kinds of problems for the opposition. It’s time for change! This time… out of power.”

Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin said in a post on X: “Ahead of Elections 2024, driven by fear of a decade of failures and the imminent defeat, the fascist BJP govt sinks to despicable depths by arresting Kejriwal, following the unjust targeting of brother Hemant Soren.

“Not a single BJP leader faces scrutiny or arrest, laying bare their abuse of power and the decay of democracy. The relentless persecution of opposition leaders by the BJP govt smacks of a desperate witch-hunt.

“This tyranny ignites public fury, unmasking BJP’s true colours. But their futile arrests only fuel our resolve, fortifying the INDIA alliance’s march to victory. BJP, brace for the people’s wrath.”

NCP leader Sharad Pawar condemned the “vindictive misuse of central agencies to target the opposition, especially as general elections loom”.

“This arrest showcases the depth to which BJP will stoop for power. ‘INDIA’ stands united against this unconstitutional action against Kejriwal,” he said.

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien questioned the timing of the arrest, when the Model Code of Conduct is in place.

He alleged that as the poll process has begun, every opposition party is being harassed.

“How can we expect fair elections in India if sitting CMs and prominent opposition leaders are arrested weeks before polls? If SC and ECI fail to act now, who will stand with people against BJP’s oppressive politics in future?” O’Brien asked.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the BJP and prime minister Narendra Modi are in “panic” over their impending rejection by people in the upcoming polls.

“It’s the second sitting chief minister of the INDIA bloc to be arrested. Clearly, Modi and the BJP are in panic over people’s rejection in the ongoing elections,” he said.

CPI general secretary D Raja said the BJP’s desperation ahead of the general election is on full display.

“They know the hollowness of their claims of 400 seats and that’s why opposition is being targeted by abusing central agencies. The arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and the arrest of then Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren show how jittery the BJP is. This harassment is only intended to intimidate the opposition,” Raja said in a post on X.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said “with the political arrest of another sitting CM, Arvind Kejriwal, the BJP government, its Extended Department have made it clear that they aren’t anywhere close to winning 400 seats”.

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said Kejriwal’s arrest “will give birth to a new people’s revolution”.

“Those who are themselves imprisoned in the fear of defeat, what will they achieve by imprisoning someone else? BJP knows that it will not come to power again and because of this fear, it wants to remove the opposition leaders from the public by any means at the time of elections, arrest is just an excuse,” he said in a post on X.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said Kejriwal’s arrest reeks of political vendetta and growing authoritarianism.

“The arbitrary arrest of yet another CM by ED reeks of political vendetta and growing authoritarianism,” she said in a post on X.

“This cowardly act has exposed fears of the ruling party now resorting to desperate measures by manipulating elections even before they are held. History has shown that tyranny never prevails in the face of unified resistance. We will not be intimidated”

(PTI)

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