Nine Opposition leaders write to PM on 'misuse' of central agencies; slam Sisodia's arrest

Significantly, Congress, DMK and JD(U) were missing from the list of signatories. The leaders also accused the BJP government of going slow on cases against Opposition politicians who join the BJP.

Published: 05th March 2023 11:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th March 2023 02:27 PM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narednra Modi. (Photo | PTI)

Prime Minister Narednra Modi. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Days after the arrest of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia by the CBI on an excise policy case, nine opposition leaders have written to the Prime Minister flagging the blatant misuse of investigating agencies to eliminate the opposition and alleged that the arrest 'was indicative of India’s transition from being a democracy to an autocracy.'

The issue of Governors acting in violation of the constitutional provisions and hindering the governance of the states was raised in a letter signed by main Opposition leaders including Arvind Kejriwal (AAP) Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) chief Chandrasekhar Rao, Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) chief Farooq Abdullah, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

"On the 26th of February 2023, after a long witch-hunt, Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with alleged irregularity without a shred of evidence against him. The allegations against Sisodia are outrightly baseless and smack of a political conspiracy,” stated the letter.

“The arrest suggests that “we have transitioned from being a democracy to an autocracy,” it stated.

ALSO READ | Delhi Court extends Manish Sisodia's CBI custody by two days till March 6

Significantly, Congress, DMK and JD(U) were missing from the list of signatories. The absence of parties assumes significance as there have been renewed calls by the Congress party to unite all opposition parties to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) in the run-up to the 2024 General elections. The 85th Plenary session of Congress in Raipur has also said that the formation of a third front will only bolster BJP-led alliances.  

The letter, also signed by Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, pointed out that Sisodia is recognised globally for transforming Delhi's school education.

“His arrest will be cited worldwide as an example of a political witch-hunt and further confirm what the world was only suspecting - that India's democratic values stand threatened under an authoritarian BJP regime,” it said.

The leaders also accused the BJP government of going slow on cases against Opposition politicians who join the BJP.

“For example, former Congress member and current Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was probed by the CBI and the ED in 2014 and 2015 over the Saradha chit fund scam. However, the case didn’t progress after he joined the BJP. Similarly, former TMC leaders Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy were under the ED and CBI scanner in the Narada sting operation case but the cases didn’t progress after they joined the BJP ahead of the assembly polls in the state. There are many such examples, including that of Narayan Rane of Maharashtra,” stated the letter.

Letter by major Opposition parties to the Prime Minister. Click here to read the full letter

The leaders further said that since 2014, there has been a marked rise in the number of raids conducted and cases lodged against and arrests of the opposition leaders. “Be it Lalu Prasad Yadav, Sanjay Raut, Azam Khan, Nawab Malik, Anil Deshmukh, Abhishek Banerjee, central agencies have often sparked suspicion that they were working as extended wings of the ruling dispensation at the Centre,” they said

The timings of the cases lodged or arrests made have coincided with elections making it abundantly clear that they were politically motivated, said the letter

The investigation agencies have their priorities misplaced, said the leaders. Referring to the Adani-Hindenburg report, the letter raised questions over why the agency has not been pressed into service to investigate the firm's (Adani group) financial irregularities despite the public money being at stake.

“Following the publication of an international forensic financial research report, SBI and LIC have reportedly lost over Rs 78,000 crores in market capitalisation of their shares due to exposure to a certain firm,” said the letter.

Condemning the alleged misuse of the office of Governors in Opposition ruled states, the letter said that a war is being waged against the country’s federalism. “The offices of the Governors across the country are acting in violation of the constitutional provisions and frequently hindering the governance of the state. They are wilfully undermining democratically elected state governments and choosing instead to obstruct governance as per their whims and fancies,” it pointed out.

“Be it the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Punjab, Telangana or the Lt Governor of Delhi – the Governors have become the face of the widening rift between the Centre and states run by the non-BJP governments and threaten the spirit of cooperative federalism, which the states continue to nurture in spite of a lack of expression by the Centre. As a result, the people of our country have now begun to question the role of the Governors in Indian democracy,” said the letter.

The leaders said that the government should respect the mandate given by the people even if it was in favour of a party whose ideology was contrary to the ruling regime.  “The misuse of central agencies and constitutional offices like that of the Governor since 2014 has tarnished their image and raised questions about their autonomy and impartiality. The faith of the people of India in these agencies continues to erode. In a democracy, the will of the people is supreme,” it said.


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  • Vijayachandran

    Misuse of Central agencies and Constitutional offices like that of Governors is to be opposed by all by all means. It goes without saying that such misuse of power does not go well with any democracy. But the joint letter of March 5 by eight opposition political parties to the Prime Minister appears to lack credibility. First of all
    19 days ago reply
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