New Delhi : Congress today reacted sharply to CBI raids against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, alleging that the Narendra Modi government was targetting opposition leaders by using the CBI against them.
Claiming that the way things are happening was unprecedented, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad wondered, "is it a democracy or dictatorship or whether emergency has been declared and people are still not aware of it as .... an FIR is filed in the night and immediately there is a raid in the morning."
"Be it Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati or Mamata Banerjee if you do not fall in line and cooperate in Parliament, the CBI is ready," the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha told reporters here.
"The intention is to paralyse the fourth estate and the opposition by browbeating them," he said.
Making a stinging attack on the Prime Minister, the senior Congress leader alleged that while Modi is meeting world leaders in the US as leader of the world's largest democracy, but domestically his government is behaving in the worst possible manner against the opposition.
"Perhaps, there will be no other example anywhere in the world where the government targeted a six-term chief minister with a good image. CBI filed a case against him late last night and raided his residence when he was proceeding to the marriage of his daughter," he said.
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Azad said that registration of a disproportionate assets case and the raids were "very unfortunate and highly vindictive" given the fact that an Income Tax case of the chief minister was pending with the IT tribunal and it has not given its verdict so far.
Besides, Azad claimed that in a PIL in the matter in Delhi High Court, the CBI has said that no case has been made out against the chief minister.
Taking the battle to the ruling party's court, Azad wondered why the Prime Minister had not initiated similar action earlier against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in the Lalit Modi row and the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan in the Vyapam scam.
Similarly, he asked why a case has not been registered and raids conducted against Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in the wake of the Rs 36,000 crore PDS scam and why a similar action has not been taken in the Chikki and Tender scams in Maharashtra.
Azad said the judiciary's role is crucial in such a situation as bureaucracy, journalists and TV channels and the opposition are being targeted.
Azad's reaction came close on the heels of a D A case against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister and CBI raids at 11 places in the state, including at his residence in Shimla, and in Delhi.