Criminal actions crippled us before LS polls: RaGa

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi during a press conference accompanied by party President Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Thursday termed the freezing of the Party’s bank accounts, “a criminal action done by the Prime Minister and the Home Minister.”

“This is a criminal action on the Congress party, a criminal action done by the Prime Minister and the Home Minister,” said the Congress leader.

This is not freezing of Congress party’s bank accounts, this is the freezing of Indian democracy, alleged Gandhi. He said the party is not able to take any action, ” we can’t book advertisements or send our leaders anywhere. This is an assault on democracy.”

Moreover, Gandhi said that “India is a democracy is a lie.”

“So, the idea that India is a democracy is a lie. There is no democracy in India today. The idea that India is the world’s largest democracy is a lie. A complete lie. 20% of India votes for us and we are not able to pay Rs 2 for anything. It has been orchestrated to cripple us in the elections. Even if our bank accounts are unfrozen today, huge amount of debt damage has been done to Indian democracy,” Rahul said.

Taking a a dig at the Election Commission of India, Rahul said, ““What’s interesting to me is that there are institutions in this country that are supposed to protect the democratic framework. There is an Election Commission in the country but it has not even said anything; that you have frozen the bank accounts of one of the biggest political parties and largest opposition in the country.”

Gandhi said, a fair election is essential for any democracy, along with a level playing field for all the political parties. “It shouldn’t be the case that the one in the power should have the authority over media and control over IT, ED, Election Commission and other autonomous bodies.”

In the presser, Sonia Gandhi alleged that a “systematic effort” is underway by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “cripple” the Indian National Congress financially, while calling it “unprecedented and undemocratic.”

“Funds collected from the public are being frozen and money from our accounts is being taken away forcibly. However, even under these most challenging circumstances, we are doing our very best to maintain the effectiveness of our election campaign,” she said.

Attacking the BJP government over the electoral bond issue, Sonia said, “On one hand, there is the electoral bond issue, which has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Electoral bonds benefit the BJP hugely. On the other hand, the finances of the principal opposition party, the India National Congress, are under a determined assault.”

“This, we all believe, is unprecedented and undemocratic,” Sonia Gandhi added.

Earlier, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said the action on the accounts of the Congress party meant there was no level playing field in the Lok Sabha polls

“The Supreme Court called electoral bonds illegal and unconstitutional. Under that scheme, the present ruling party filled its accounts with thousands and crores of rupees. On the other hand, under a conspiracy, the bank account of the main opposition party has been frozen. So that, in the absence of funds, there is no level-playing field in contesting the elections,” Kharge said.

The Congress is expected to release its manifesto for the general elections a day after it was approved by the Congress Working Committee.

The party manifesto will be centred around 25 guarantees and “Paanch NYAY” (five pillars of justice) announced during the recently concluded Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

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