Press Trust of india

Constitution under attack, atmosphere of fear in country: Rahul

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Raipur, May 17 : The Constitution is under “severe attack” and an atmosphere of fear prevailed in the country, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said today against the backdrop of political developments in Karnataka.

Even the judiciary was being suppressed and threatened, the Congress chief said,  likening the situation to Pakistan and some African countries under “dictatorship”.

Gandhi, who is on a two-day trip to Chhattisgarh, was apparently referring to the unprecedented press conference by four senior judges of the Supreme Court in January this year to express their grievances against the chief justice of India.

“The Constitution is under severe attack in the country,” he alleged.

“In Karnataka, the MLAs are on one side and the governor on the other and you know what attempt is being made,” he said and made a reference to JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy’s allegation that its MLAs in the southern state were offered Rs 100 crore by the BJP.

BJP legislature party leader B S Yeddyurappa was today sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka, after an overnight high-voltage legal battle in the Supreme Court. He has 15 days to prove his majority in the Assembly.

The BJP has 104 MLAs in the Karnataka assembly, eight short of the magic figure of 112. The Congress and JD(S), which have announced a post-poll tie-up, have won 78 and 37 seats respectively.

The Congress chief added if the BJP wanted to talk about corruption, it should discuss the Rafale jet deal, BJP chief Amit Shah’s son and (Union minister) Piyush Goyal’s company. However, he did not elaborate on it.

Addressing a ‘Jan Swaraj Sammelan’ here on the occasion of the silver jubilee of 73rd and 74th amendment in the Constitution related to local self-governance, Gandhi also accused the BJP and the RSS of capturing every democratic institution in country.

“One after another, you can see every democratic institution in the country, like the MPs, MLAs, the press and the Planning Commission…the RSS is trying to induct its people,” the 47-year-old Congress leader said.

All these institutions collectively form the voice of the country and the RSS and the BJP are trying to suppress these voices, he claimed.

Gandhi added that his party had ruled the country for several years but never tried to capture democratic institutions.

“There is fear in the judiciary, there is fear in the press, and even the BJP’s members of Parliament are scared as they cannot speak a single word before the prime minister (Narendra Modi),” he said.

In the last 70 years, it was generally seen that people approach the judiciary to seek justice.

“But for the first time it was seen that four judges of the Supreme Court came out to seek public support saying they were not allowed to perform their duties…It was seen for the first time in the country. It definitely happens under dictatorship, it happens in Pakistan, it happens in different African countries, (where) a general comes and suppresses court and press, but in India it has happened for the first time in last 70 years.”

Targeting the BJP, he said, “A murder accused is the president of a national party, which has not been seen in the last 70 years.”

Gandhi also alleged that the aim of the RSS and the BJP was to suppress the voice of Dalits, ‘adivasis’ (tribals) and women and distribute the country’s wealth to some selected people.

“When farmers talk about loan waiver, (finance minister) Arun Jaitley says the Centre does not have any policy for it. But in the last one year, Rs 2.5 lakh crore loan of 15 rich people was waived off. He doesn’t speak over it because it’s in their policy,” the Congress chief said.

After addressing the ‘Jan Swaraj Sammelan’,  Gandhi went to Sitapur in Surguja district where he is scheduled to address an adivasi farmers’ rally.

He will also visit Kotmi village in Bilaspur district where he will address the ‘Jungle Satyagraha Adivasi’ rally.

The Congress has out of power since last 15 years in Chhattisgarh where the Assembly elections are due later this year.


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