Accusing Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju of consistently attempting to “pressurise the judiciary”, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut on March 19, hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Centre and said that a move was afoot to suspend Congressman Rahul Gandhi from the Parliament as he had raised his voice about the threats to Indian democracy.
Mr. Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP, was alluding to Mr. Rijiju’s recent remarks made at a media conclave where the Minister allegedly claimed that some retired judges and activists who were “part of the anti-India gang” were trying to cast the Indian judiciary in the role of the Opposition party.
Reacting to the Minister’s remarks, Mr. Raut, while talking to reporters in Mumbai, said, “What kind of a democracy is this? Does it suit the Law Minister to threaten the judiciary? It [Mr. Rijiju’s remarks] is a threat to judges who refuse to bow down to the government and is an attempt to pressurise the judiciary.”
Mr. Raut questioned as to how a Law Minister, who thus threatened judges, could occupy the position once held by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Lashing out at the BJP-ruled Centre, Mr. Raut said that ever since it came to power in 2014, it had been violating parliamentary, judicial and constitutional norms.
“They [BJP government] are interfering in the working of agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). They have seized the law and order machinery,” alleged Mr. Raut.
He hit out at the BJP’s demand for Congress MP Rahul Gandhi to apologise for his comments made recently about Indian democracy being in peril and of a “full-scale assault” being made on the country’s institutions at Cambridge, England.
“Why should Rahul Gandhi apologise? If it is all about an apology, then there are many Ministers of the BJP who need to do it first. They switched off Mr. Gandhi’s mic in Parliament, and put people like me in jails to shut our mouths,” Mr. Raut said, adding that criticising the government did not mean being against the nation.
“They switched off Mr. Gandhi’s mic in Parliament, and put people like me in jails to shut our mouths”Sanjay RautShiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader