The Opposition parties came down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party accusing it of engineering the split in the Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra.
Reacting to the development, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot alleged that the BJP was trying to ‘eliminate’ the Opposition with the help of money power and Central agencies. “The political developments that have taken place in Maharashtra today [July 2] show that the BJP wants to eliminate the Opposition parties on the basis of money power and Central agencies. It is highly condemnable,” Mr. Gehlot said in a tweet.
He further said, “All the leaders, including Ajit Pawar, whom the BJP used to accuse of corruption till yesterday, were inducted into the Cabinet. The BJP has been nervous ever since the Opposition parties started coming together, due to which it is breaking the regional parties by putting pressure from the Central agencies. No matter how much the BJP tries, the public has decided that it will give a befitting reply when the time comes to thwart these attempts to kill democracy.”
‘Public money being misused’
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti hit out at the BJP saying the ruling party was on an “MLA-purchasing spree”. She said that no words were enough to condemn the manner in which the BJP had repeatedly undermined the popular mandate in Maharashtra. “Not only is democracy being butchered but they are using the national anthem to provide cover for such disgraceful actions,” she said. “On the one hand, the BJP is arresting political opponents on trumped-up corruption charges while they themselves are on an MLA-purchasing spree. Hard-earned public money is being misused to quench the BJP’s thirst for power,” Ms. Mufti said.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi said the BJP had declared openly now that all the corrupt should come into its fold and get “cleaned off their sins in its washing machine”.
Calling the BJP “hypocrite”, West Bengal Minister Babul Supriyo said tainted leaders under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate for corruption had been put into a “washing machine” manufactured by the BJP to remove their stains and blemishes.
More ‘experiments’ on the way: SP
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said Maharashtra had emerged as a “bigger laboratory” for the BJP after Madhya Pradesh, and the saffron party will do other “experiments” in the run-up to the 2024 general election to stay in power. “The BJP does this from time to time, first it did this in Madhya Pradesh, and then in Maharashtra, but people are watching this,” he said.
Shiv Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha leader Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted: “Principles be damned, BJP should be the last party in the country talking about ideological alliances. They are just political opportunists wanting power at any cost. With the latest development in Maharashtra, those MLAs who were corrupt and were jailed are now being sworn in as ministers!”
JD (U) chief spokesperson K.C. Tyagi said the move would have no impact on the Opposition unity nationally and dubbed the episode “cowardly and shameful”. “The development in Maharashtra showed the “fear” instilled by the party’s supreme leader, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, in the BJP by uniting the Opposition,” he said.
DMK leader T.K.S. Elangovan said that after the Opposition meeting in Patna, they (BJP) were afraid, and hence wanted to break the Opposition parties.