congress: Government blocks political activities, will suffer the consequences: Congress
On the third consecutive day of ED questioning of former Congress Speaker Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald money laundering case, party chief ministers Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel said it was the first time in the country’s history that the offices of a national party were put out of bounds for its own workers.
“The atmosphere in the country is in front of everyone. I could not bring my own staff inside the AICC office. No one else is allowed. Political activists cannot enter the their party offices. This is happening for the first time in the country,” Baghel said.
“They are trying to stop the political activities of the leaders. You can only repress someone up to a limit, and now all the limits have been crossed,” he said.
Baghel’s convoy was prevented by Delhi police on Tuesday from traveling to Badarpur police station, where some party leaders were in pre-trial detention for violating restraining orders in central Delhi.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister said “BJP nationalism is imported” that “anyone who raises a voice against them is crushed”. He said Rahul Gandhi was being targeted for questioning the government on governance issues and public concerns.
Reiterating the accusation that the ED summons against the Gandhis was a “political vendetta”, Gehlot said the past eight years would be marked as the “dark chapter in India’s history”.
He warned the atmosphere in the country was “very dangerous” and recalled recent remarks by Gandhi at an event in London where he said “kerosene has been poured all over India”.
“Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. There is a sense of fear in every alley, every house,” Gehlot said, as he called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the nation and denounce the violence.
“Party workers are prevented from entering our own offices. Democracy is in danger and the Constitution is violated. The approach of the RSS-BJP is very dangerous,” he said.
In the National Herald case, Gehlot said Rs 90 crore was paid in 100 installments to revive the paper, and there was no wrongdoing.
“The ED notices were given only to harass and target Gandhis. The government will have to face the consequences as people have understood everything,” the Chief Minister of Rajasthan said.
Congress said it would take a call later on whether to meet with the president and prime minister to raise the ongoing “despotism” against its workers.
As party leaders alleged workers were barred from entering the AICC office on Tuesday and Wednesday, Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken said the opposition had a role to play in keeping of democracy and that the current repression would not be tolerated.
“We want to warn the central government to allow democracy to function normally and not try to suppress us,” he said.
AICC general secretary and chief party spokesman Randeep Surewala alleged that the BJP waiver “continues to convey misinformation about the ED case against Rahul Gandhi to TV stations.”
He demanded that Gandhi’s interrogation be broadcast live, adding: “Let the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary also join the investigation and sit there, and let the country see that this is not is just a facade because there are no cases and nothing to ask.”
AICC Secretary General Mukul Wasnik said the central government was trying to abolish Congress to achieve its dream of an “India without Congress”.
“This is not just an action against Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, but an attack on the Congress Party, which has played an important role in the country’s freedom movement. We will oppose this reign of dictatorship,” he said. Wasnik said.
Top Congress leaders have been seeking the arrest in solidarity with Rahul Gandhi for three days, with the Delhi center under Section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits the gathering of more than four people.