The Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of Shiv Sena on Monday said the time has come to stand up to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “corruption washing machine” to save the country and cited the letter written by Opposition leaders to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting the “authoritarian regime”.
In an editorial published in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said harassing the Opposition and staying in power doesn’t augur well for democracy.
Leaders of nine opposition parties, including chief ministers Mamata Banerjee and K Chandrashekar Rao, have written to the prime minister alleging “blatant misuse” of Central agencies against members of the opposition.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray are the signatories from Maharashtra. “Now is the time to stand up to the BJP’s ‘Corruption Washing Machine’ and save the country. A letter signed by several Opposition leaders including former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thrown a light on the authoritarian regime in the country,” the Saamana said.
The “washing machine” analogy is often used by Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders to target BJP over the induction of “corrupt” leaders into that party and extending “protection” to them.
“The letter has highlighted an increase in actions against Opposition leaders since 2014 when the BJP came to power in the country. But the leaders facing charges of corruption who have joined the BJP never faced any action. Most of such cases were false,” the editorial said.
The Sena (UBT) said the country is witnessing “unprecedented chaos” under the Modi government.
“Autonomous government institutions are being privatised. This is more dangerous than Al Qaida and the Taliban. The Election Commission of India is wagging its tail before the BJP, which is why the Supreme Court has ordered the formation of a three-member committee for its future appointments,” it said.
The edit also referred to the ‘Insaaf ke sipahi’ platform floated by noted lawyer Kapil Sibal to help the people fight injustice with lawyers at the forefront. “It is not good for democracy to harass the Opposition and stay in the power,” the edit said.
The Sena (UBT) also questioned BJP’s criticism of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his speech at Cambridge University wherein he had said Indian democracy is under attack and several politicians, including himself, are under surveillance.
“If he defamed the country, then it needs to be asked whether the claims made by Narendra Modi during his speeches during his previous foreign trips against Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and their regimes were not defaming the country?” the editorial asked.
The Sena faction alleged corruption cases against BJP leaders are being suppressed.
“It is now clear that the BJP which has amassed thousands of crores through corrupt practices has invested (the money) via (Gautam) Adani and turned them into white cash. Several PSU banks and LIC lost their investments. PM Modi talks against corruption, but it is the most corrupt regime,” the editorial said.
The Sena (UBT) also claimed the CBI and the ED are “still not seen anywhere despite Rs 8 crore cash being found at the residence of a BJP legislator in the poll-bound Karnataka. No BJP leader is ready to talk about it”.
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