'Intimidation tactics, heights of dictatorship': Opposition parties on BBC I-T 'survey'

The Congress termed the I-T department's 'survey operations' at the BBC offices as an 'act of intimidation' and said the government was scared of criticism.

Published: 14th February 2023 02:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2023 04:47 PM   |  A+A-


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By Online Desk

NEW DELHI: India's opposition parties have criticised the PM Modi-led BJP government over the Income Tax 'survey' operation at the BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai on Tuesday.

The Congress termed the 'survey' operations as an 'act of intimidation' and said the government was scared of criticism. Party General Secretary K.C. Venugopal said, "The I-T raid at BBC's offices reeks of desperation and shows that the Modi government is scared of criticism."

"We condemn these intimidation tactics in the harshest terms. This undemocratic and dictatorial attitude cannot go on any longer," he added.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, "Here we are demanding JPC on the Adani issue but the government is after the BBC. Vinash Kale Viprit Buddhi.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also slammed the centre saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached the "heights of dictatorship."

"Modi ji, you have reached the heights of dictatorship," said AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, who is also the party's national spokesperson, in a tweet in Hindi, reacting sharply to the survey.

"First, imposed a ban on the BBC documentary. Now raids at their offices. Don't forget Modi ji, Hitler's dictatorship also came to an end. Your dictatorship will also end," the AAP leader added.

Meanwhile, the CPI(M) questioned if India remains the "mother of democracy." Party's General Secretary Sitaram Yechury also slammed the government for not accepting the opposition's demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani Group issue.

"First ban BBC documentaries. No JPC/enquiry into Adani exposures. Now IT raids on BBC offices! India: 'Mother of democracy'?" Yechury said in a tweet.

CPI MP Binoy Viswam, on the other hand, said the "IT survey" was the attempt of a "frightened government" to "strangle" the voice of truth. He also alleged that the action was a "raid" and not a "survey."

"Raid on BBC! They call it a survey! This survey is a killing spree of a frightened govt. To strangle the voice of truth. The world is witnessing it. When Modi presides over the G-20, they will ask about India's record on freedom of the press. Can he reply truthfully?" Viswam said in a tweet.

The Income Tax Department on Tuesday conducted a survey operation at the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) offices in Delhi and Mumbai as part of a tax evasion investigation, officials said.

The surprise action comes weeks after the broadcaster aired a two-part documentary, "India: The Modi Question" even as the Centre blocked access to this series at multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing any links.

Last week, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking to impose a complete ban on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in India in wake of the documentary series, terming it "entirely misconceived" and "absolutely meritless."

(With Inputs from PTI, IANS)


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