Rajat Sharma

Is India a dictatorship ? Ask Rahul Again!

If elections were rigged by Modi, how Congress won Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh, AAP Delhi, Punjab and TMC Bengal?

rajat-sirCongress leaders and workers came out in full force on the streets on Friday to stage protests over rising prices and unemployment. Most of them wore black dress to observe ‘Black Friday’ as per instructions from party leadership. Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka joined the protests wearing black dress. Senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge wore a black ‘lungi’ and black ‘pagri’.

From Parliament, Sonia Gandhi, along with Rahul and all Congress MPs marched to Rashtrapati Bhawan, but were stopped by police at Vijay Chowk, where they were detained and taken to Kingsway Camp Police Lines. They were released in the evening.

Another group of Congress workers led by party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi marched from party HQ on Akbar Road towards the Prime Minister’s residence on Lok Kalyan Marg, but were stopped and detained by police. There was drama when Priyanka tried to scale the police barricades and scuffled with police personnel, before she was pushed into a waiting police vehicle. While Congress leaders alleged that many of them were shoved and manhandled by police, Delhi Police said, several police personnel were manhandled and injured by Congress workers.

Before joining the protest, Rahul Gandhi while addressing a press conference, alleged that the Modi government was dismantling the edifice of democracy in India, which had been built brick by brick over the last 70 years. The opposition, he alleged, was being systematically targeted by law enforcement agencies, which, he said, were being controlled by BJP and RSS.

Rahul Gandhi said, the whole of India knows this, and anybody who raises the voice of dissent, is being persecuted by the government, put in jail, arrested and beaten up. Hitler, he said, also came to power after winning elections because most of the institutions were under his control. “You give me the entire institutional establishment, and I will show you how elections are won”, Rahul Gandhi told the media.

Priyanka Gandhi along with Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and other party leaders took LPG cylinders on the streets to highlight the steep rise in the price of LPG. At one place outside the Congress HQ , some women activists started cooking rotis on a makeshift fireplace made of bricks.

BJP leaders hit out at Rahul Gandhi saying “the entire nation knows who imposed dictatorship in 1975 during Emergency. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said, Rahul should look at his own party which has become the property of a dynasty.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, Rahul probably forgot that it was her grandmother Indira Gandhi who put top journalists and editors behind bars during Emergency. “Congress”, he said “has now lost the support of common people, the common man has stopped voting for Congress and that is why Rahul Gandhi is alleging that it is now the end of democracy.” Union Minister Giriraj Singh said, it was the Congress which took over control of all institutions during its 60 years-long-rule.

Rahul Gandhi’s remarks against Modi government on Friday reveals his outlook. He alleged that even Hitler used to win elections, but he should know that elections from panchayats to Parliament during the eight years of Modi’s rule have been free and fair, though in most of the polls the Congress lost. Is it justified to say there is dictatorship, if Congress fails to win elections?

During Modi’s rule, Congress won assembly elections in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and formed governments, Mamata Banerjee won elections in West Bengal and got a third term, Arvind Kejriwal won elections and formed his government in Delhi twice, Congress lost in Punjab and AAP swept to power. Where these elections a fraud committed on the people? Were these elections not held democratically? To blame dictatorship for the electoral debacle of his own party is not a healthy tradition in democracy.

Rahul’s remark that he needed the state machinery to win elections is indeed surprising. Such remarks cannot be justified in a healthy democracy. Thirdly, he alleged that RSS supporters were sitting in all major posts of state machinery, but he did not placed a shred of evidence to substantiate his allegation. By making such unfounded allegations, Rahul is eroding his own credibility, and losing the trust of people. Rahul Gandhi’s caustic remarks were not political, but displayed his personal hatred towards Modi.

By Friday evening, Home Minister Amit Shah and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath gave a political reply, to which the Congress may find it difficult to respond. Amit Shah said, Congress chose the date August 5 for protest and wore black clothes because it wanted to give a subtle message in favour of appeasement politics on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Ram temple in Ayodhya. “ED raids and price rise were mere excuses, Congress’ real pain is about the construction of Ram temple. Today, Congress took one step further and its workers wore black clothes to stage protest”, Amit Shah said.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath said, August 5 is a day of pride for every Indian because on this day worship of Lord Shri Ram began at Ram Janmabhoomi for construction of Ram temple. “The protest by wearing black clothes on this day is a deliberate insult to all ‘bhakts’ of Lord Ram and the Supreme Court which gave its verdict in favour of the temple”, Yogi said.

It was left to Congress spokesman Pawan Khera to tweet that when the party raised issues of price rise and unemployment, BJP replied by raising temple-mosque issue. Congress leaders will have to give a cogent reply to the questions raised by Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath.

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