From 'Congress Bureau of Investigation' to BJP's 'Election Directorate'
New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) Political opponents of the Bharatiya Janata Party allege that the ED, IT department and the CBI are being misused by the party to fix rivals. The ED has become the "Election Directorate" of the the BJP, they said, while the CBI was once called the Congress Bureau of Investigation.
The recent political developments in Maharashtra where the Uddhav Thackeray led MVA was unseated with the help of Shiv Sena rebels has led to the Opposition alleging that the ED was used to topple the government and the agency had been threatening the MLAs since the MVA government came into existence.
The ED has been named by the Opposition as the BJP's Election Directorate which is being used to topple the elected governments in the states and comes into play ahead of the elections. Regarding Maharashtra, Congress communication in-charge Pawan Khera said, "Introducing the new ED Sarkar. #Maharastra."
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha openly accused the ruling party, "BJP and the Central government are fully responsible for destabilising a stable govt in Maharashtra to form their own govt in the state."
The recent face off between the Opposition and the ED was over the questioning of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the AJL/Young India case pertaining to the National Herald. The Congress hit the streets to oppose the action but the ED will now question Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the same case in mid July.
On the Rahul Gandhi issue, party MP Karti Chidambaram who is also facing the ED said in a tweet, "The repeated summons to Rahul Gandhi by the ED is nothing but crude harassment. And ED Directors standard conduct is abominable. But the way they are harassing Rahul Gandhi is the pits. This is being done only for the voyeuristic pleasure of certain people and their blind followers who harbour deep prejudice."
It's not only the Congress which is facing the ED wrath, said an opposition leader, but the TMC, Shiv Sena, JMM, AAP and others who are hurdles in the BJP's path are getting the same treatment.
Aam Aadmi Party minister Satyendra Jain is in jail, Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh of the NCP are also in jail. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has defended Satyendra Jain and has alleged that he was targeted due to political prejudice. Kejriwal has not removed Jain from the cabinet despite his judicial custody.
The Congress also alleged that those opposition leaders have not been investigated who have joined the BJP including Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Mukul Roy who switched to the BJP and then rejoined the TMC.
However this doesn't mean that the Congress tenure was very clean. It often faced allegations of misusing the CBI which was termed as the Congress Bureau of Investigation. The apex court had said it was a caged parrot.
Two prominent political parties, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, had often alleged harassment by the CBI. While the SP was in the dock over DA cases filed by a Congress leader, the BSP was entangled in the Taj Corridor case.
Vishwanath Chaturvedi, petitioner in the Mulayam Singh DA case, has been upset with the Congress for being ignored and alleged that, "it was his case which was used to blackmail the Samajwadi Party to support the UPA government during the no confidence motion in 2008 when the Left Front withdrew support opposing the nuclear deal."
He said "the UPA government did not have full majority so they were discreet but the BJP has a brute majority so they are more direct. The way has changed but not the misuse, the same ED whose officials are now with the BJP was instrumental in cases against YSRCP leader Jagan Mohan Reddy."
When some Samajwadi Party-linked people were raided ahead of elections its president Akhilesh Yadav categorically said," Earlier, the Congress also used to intimidate people by misusing central agencies like the I-T, CBI and the ED." He charged that now the BJP is doing the same thing.
In 2019 the then Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das had alleged that the UPA government had misused the CBI to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case. "The Congress had indulged in politics to trap Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the name of a dangerous offender and is even now indulging in such efforts as it is the nature of the Congress to glorify terrorists," he had said.
On Friday the ED raided present Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren's close aide Pankaj Mishra, so both the governments are not far behind, Chaturvedi asserted.