BENGALURU: AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the NDA government of muzzling freedom of expression and trying to force the media into silence.
Speaking at an event organised to release a commemorative edition of the Congress party newspaper National Herald, Rahul Gandhi said the Dalits are being beaten up, minorities are frightened and bureaucrats and journalists are not being allowed to speak the truth.
"The government is trying to silence everyone. Those who speak the truth are being pushed around,'' he said.
Referring to his visit last week to Madhya Pradesh when he was not allowed to enter the state to meet the families of farmers who died in police firing, Rahul Gandhi said, "When I asked the policemen under what law they were stopping me from entering the state, they told me there was no law but they were only carrying out orders. That is the situation in the country today."
Quoting Soviet poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, he added, "When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie."
The Congress veep said, "Everybody knows what the truth is. But they are scared to say it."
Vice-president Mohammad Hamid Ansari released the National Herald commemorative publication to celebrate 70 years of India's independence.
Efforts to revive the newspaper started amid a legal battle launched by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who has filed a criminal complaint against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others.
In his private criminal complaint, Swamy accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to misappropriate funds by paying only Rs 50 lakh through which Young Indian Pvt. Ltd obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore, which its publisher, Associate Journals Ltd (AJL), owed to the Congress party.
The Gandhis and the other accused -- Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda -- have denied the allegations levelled against them.
The Delhi High Court had recently declined to stay the Income Tax proceedings against Young India Ltd in the National Herald case.
(With agency inputs)