Cong's fall in Guj civic polls detrimental to democracy: Raut

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Mumbai, Feb 24 (PTI) With the Congress getting a drubbing in the recent Gujarat municipal polls, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said the Congress's fall in this manner is not in the interest of democracy and the partywill have to think about it.

Talking to reporters here, Raut also alleged that the BJP used several tactics to remove the Congress from power in Puducherry and the 'misuse' of power and money by 'people sitting in Delhi' is not in the interest of the country.

He said such tactics are being used in Maharashtra too, but the ruling Shiv Sena is standing firmly in the state along with Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies NCP and Congress.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who led the Congress government, resigned on Monday ahead of the confidence vote after his ministry was reduced to a minority following a spate of resignations of his party MLAs and a DMK legislator in recent days.

In Gujarat, the BJP won 483 out of 576 seats in six municipal corporations, where elections were held on Sunday, while the main opposition Congress won only 55 seats and failed to even open its account in Surat.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) put up an impressive show by winning 27 seats, all in Surat, and emerged as the main opposition in the municipal corporation there.

Reacting to the results, which were declared on Tuesday, Raut said, 'Surat is an important municipal corporation and the people have elected AAP as the principal opposition party...the Congress will have to think about it, we all have to think about it.' He welcomed the AAP's success in Surat.

'But why people rejected a big party like the Congress, in Gujarat or in other states, the Congress's fall in this manner is not in the interest of democracy,' he said.

The Rajya Sabha member alleged that the BJP removed the Congress from power in Puducherry using several tactics.

He said such tactics are being used in Maharashtra too and were also deployed in Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress lost power to the BJP in March last year.

'But, there is a big difference in Puducherry and Maharashtra. The chief minister here is Uddhav Thackeray and the Shiv Sena is standing firmly with the two constituents of the (ruling) Maha Vikas Aghadi,' Raut said.

All parties should take lessons from the development in Puducherry, the Rajya Sabha member said.

He said the alleged misuse of power and money by 'people sitting in Delhi' is not in the country's interest.

'There will be no democracy left in the country, if there is no opposition. And this country will not be there if there is no democracy left. If there is no country left, then a ??Desi East India company will run the country,' Raut said.

Meanwhile, an editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said some people are dreaming that Maharashtra is next after what happened in Puducherry.

'...they should keep dreaming...Maharashtra's mind is firm and intentions are strong. The game played in Puducherry and Madhya Pradesh will not work on the soil of Maharashtra,' the Marathi publication said.

It said the Congress was once strong in southern states, and now it does not have even a small Union Territory like the Puducherry under its belt there.

The Congress is sharing power with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Jharkhand, but efforts are being made to destabilise the government there also, it alleged.

'...such an atmosphere is detrimental to democracy.

The politics which is going on to attain only power keeping aside principles and ethics is worrying,' the Shiv Sena said.