Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot on Thursday alleged the BJP-led Centre is misusing probe agencies to target opposition leaders even after the enforcement of the model code of conduct, and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Election Commission to intervene.
Addressing a press conference here, the Rajasthan chief minister said Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax raids are being conducted against opposition leaders even after the announcement of assembly polls, and these agencies are losing credibility among the people of the country. They should adopt some code of conduct during polls, they said. “Raids are being conducted even after the model code of conduct is in force. These raids must stop,” he told reporters.
He, however, said he was not in favour of bringing these agencies under the purview of the Election Commission of India during elections. “Common people should continue to have faith in the agencies and in the judiciary, only then will the democracy survive. The model code is in force, yet the raids are continuing. This shows that they are helping them (the BJP). The Election Commission should come forward and intervene to stop these raids immediately,” he said.
Gehlot also demanded there be Right to Social Security in the country on the pattern of several developed countries. He said the ruling dispensation and the opposition used to share good ties in the past but now there has been a deterioration in the discourse in the country. He recalled the times of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajapyee when the ruling and opposition parties worked in a cordial and democratic manner no matter how intense and severe the political rivalries were. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his number two Amit Shah consider the opposition their enemies. The entire country is watching and time will teach them a lesson, as the common sense of people in the country is extraordinary.
“The ED and the centre are in collusion and action is being taken against Congress leaders and everything is happening in collusion and the entire country is watching,” he alleged. Claiming that he is a bigger ‘faqir’ than the prime minister, Gehlot said, “The PM should stop the ED, Income Tax raids. If he is honest, he should intervene.”
The chief minister quoted figures to claim that during the 10 years of the UPA rule, there were only 112 raids and charge sheets were filed in 93 per cent of these cases. In sharp contrast, he said, during the past nine years of the present regime, as many as 3,010 raids were conducted but charge sheets were filed only in 29 per cent cases. This, he said, was sheer harassment of political opposition.