Congress slams BJP for grabbing power with money and muscle power

Jairam Ramesh says BJP tried misleading 19 Congress MLAs in Rajasthan in a reference to Sachin Pilot-led rebellion

Published - July 01, 2022 06:19 am IST - New Delhi

While attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for unseating the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday also blamed the BJP for "misleading" 19 Congress MLAs of Rajasthan, in a reference to the Sachin Pilot-led rebellion against the Ashok Gehlot government in that State.

Moments before Eknath Shinde took oath as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Ramesh, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary for communication, accused the BJP of “undemocratically and unethically capturing yet another State government through the naked display of money and muscle power”.

"Under the Modi-Shah duo, the BJP wants to capture power at any cost, either directly or through remote control. What happened in Maharashtra is shameful for Indian democracy," the AICC leader said in a statement.

"Buying MLAs has become so commonplace that the Finance Minister blurted out the truth today when she suggested imposition of GST on horse-trading," he added, referring to a slip of tongue by Nirmala Sitharaman, who, at a press conference on GST, referred to "horse racing" as "horse trading" before promptly correcting herself.

The Congress leader said that since 2014, the prime focus of the BJP has been to bring down elected governments in States, and the offices of Governors and Speakers, and Central agencies like the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation are openly misused.

"The BJP can go to any extent to win elections — from misuse of money power to polarisation and violence. Despite using all these tactics, if the voters reject them, then they start hatching conspiracies to topple elected governments," he said.

Be it the Congress governments in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh in 2016, the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government in Bihar, the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government in Karnataka in 2019, or the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh March 2020, Mr. Ramesh argued that the BJP has been busy capturing elected governments.

"There are two other such incidents where BJP tried to form a government in an unethical manner through money power. First, in November 2019 in Maharashtra, where Devendra Fadnavis took oath along with 10 defected NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) MLAs at midnight, but then had to step down unceremoniously. Second, in Rajasthan, the BJP tried to mislead 19 Congress MLAs, but their machinations failed and the Congress government continues to serve the people of Rajasthan," Mr. Ramesh said

Condemning the BJP for destabilising democratically elected and installed governments, he said, "This is not only an insult to democracy, but also an insult to the people, who voted against the ideology of BJP."

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