Rahul Gandhi's disqualification: Centre used probe agencies to bend those who did not bow before govt, says Mallikarjun Kharge
New Delhi, March 27: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday hit out at the Centre over the Adani issue and Rahul Gandhi's disqualification as the Lok Sabha MP and said Opposition leaders were wearing the black attire to show that democracy was being trampled in the country.
Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that the Centre used the probe agencies to bend those who did not bow before the government. The Congress leader's remarks came while addressing the media after a joint opposition march from the Parliament complex towards Vijay Chowk wearing black attire as a mark of protest against the Centre over the Adani Group issue.
"I thank the opposition leaders for raising their voice against Rahul Gandhi's disqualification. Why are we here in black clothes? We want to show that PM Modi is ending democracy in the country. He first finished autonomous bodies, then they put up their own govt everywhere by threatening those who had won polls. Then they used ED, CBI to use bend those who didn't bow," Kharge said.
Explaining the advantages of the constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee, the Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition said that there will be transparency after the report is out. He further questioned the government stating that there will be more number of representations from the BJP and its allies in the JPC.
"They ask for authenticity for everything in the Parliament. The government has not been able to answer the questions raised by us. MPs of 18 parties are here today. Not a single party is missing. We are asking for a JPC on the matter. The truth will come out. Records will be checked. Whatever will come out, will be known to all. There will be transparency. Why are you scared of constituting a JPC? You have a majority. You (BJP) will have more members in the JPC or will have your allies," he said.
"You are scared which means that there is something fishy. So we are all together today to show unity," Kharge stressed.
Calling it a black day for democracy, the Congress leader said that the government disqualified Rahul Gandhi as MP from Lok Sabha with "lightning speed" and emphasised that neither Rahul Gandhi nor the opposition parties will be deterred.
"In Rahul Gandhi's case, what he said in an election rally in Kolar, Karnataka, the case is filed in Surat, Gujarat. Because you wanted a favourable government. You want to use the police, you want to use, I can't say judiciary, but you want to use for your purpose to defame Rahul Gandhi. It is a black day in democracy. The BJP government disqualified Rahul Gandhi with lightning speed. Rahul Gandhi will not be scared. The opposition parties will not be suppressed no matter how much you try to do so. We will not bow. We will try to launch a campaign in this regard," he said.
Speaking to ANI, Kharge said, "If you take the law into your own hands, democracy will be finished. No one will have the freedom to speak. So we are protesting. Why is the government silent on how Adani became such a big man? We want JPC."
Earlier today, the opposition MPs held a meeting at the chamber of LoP Rajya Sabha and Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge in the Parliament building on Monday to formulate the strategy for the day.
The opposition parties which participated in the meeting include DMK, Samajwadi Party, JD(U), Bharat Rashtra Samithi, CPI(M), RJD, Nationalist Congress Party, CPI, IUML, MDMK, Kerala Congress, TMC, RSP, AAP, J-K NC and Shiv Sena (Uddhav faction).
Trinamool Congress MPs also participated in the meeting which came as a huge development following Rahul Gandhi's suspension as MP from Lok Sabha.
TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been a critic of the BJP, supported Rahul Gandhi.
"In PM Modi's New India, Opposition leaders have become the prime target of the BJP! While BJP leaders with criminal antecedents are inducted into the cabinet, Opposition leaders are disqualified for their speeches. Today, we have witnessed a new low for our constitutional democracy," the TMC Supremo had earlier said.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge welcomed TMC's move to participate in the meeting stating that anyone who comes forward to "protect democracy" is welcome.
"I thank everyone who supported this. That is why, I thanked everyone yesterday and I thank them today as well. We welcome anyone who comes forward to protect democracy and Constitution and safeguard the people. We extend heartfelt gratitude to the people who support us," Kharge said.
The Congress MPs, including Rahul Gandhi, earlier in August last year, had worn black clothes and staged a protest against the Centre against price rise, GST hike on essential items and unemployment. They had marched towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan as part of their stir against the issues.