Passage of GNCTD bill 'murder of democracy': Gehlot

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Jaipur, Mar 27 (PTI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday termed as 'murder of democracy' the passage of a bill giving primacy to Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor over the elected government and alleged that the Modi government wanted to run the country in a 'fascist manner'.

His remarks came a day after the Delhi Police registered an FIR against his OSD Lokesh Sharma in connection with alleged phone tapping in the state.

Referring to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021, Gehlot expressed apprehension that if this continued, the Modi dispensation could abolish the powers of state government by bringing in such laws if the BJP lost elections in any state.

In a series of tweets, he also alleged that the BJP was pumping money in West Bengal to capture the state by hook or by crook and termed it 'a part of its politics without principles'.

'The people of West Bengal will give them a befitting reply by keeping them away from power. Bengal will never go with such a communal and corrupt political ideology of BJP,' he tweeted.

Alleging that the GNCTD Act was passed by the Modi government to curtail the rights of the Delhi government, Gehlot said that abolishing the power of an elected government is against the spirit of democracy.

'The GNCTD Act passed by Modi government to curtail the rights of the Delhi government is murder of democracy. Abolishing the power of an elected govt is against the spirit of democracy. Earlier the SC had clearly ruled that the elected government is the real head of Delhi,' he said.

'The Modi government wants to run the country in a fascist manner. Electoral malpractices, horse trading of elected MLAs, and when failing in both, it resorts to passing such a dictatorial bill on the strength of its majority in Parliament. This is how the Modi government rules,' Gehlot tweeted.

The chief minister expressed apprehension that if this continued, the Modi dispensation could abolish the powers of state government by bringing in such laws if the BJP lost elections in any state.

'This dictatorial decision of the Modi government should be opposed at the national level by rising above the party line,' he said.

Gehlot said that when the BJP was in opposition it used to demand more rights like giving full statehood status to Delhi, but now they have brought such law.

'But now they have brought such law. Prime Minister advocates cooperative federalism but in reality, NDA government is imposing decisions on state governments by enacting such laws,' he added.

Earlier, while speaking at a virtual programme of the state medical education department from his residence, Gehlot said that those criticising the government were being branded anti-nationals, be it a journalist, an author or an activist.

'It is a matter of grave concern for us. Look at the Chief Election Commission, Income Tax Department, ED and CBI. The agencies are being misused. The country has a challenge and we will have to make people understand,' he said.

In another series of tweets, Gehlot demanded that the central government immediately withdraw electoral bonds, saying the arrangement was promoting black money.

He said that despite objections from the Election Commission, the RBI and opposition parties, the Modi government brought in electoral bonds to whiten black money.

The RBI governor had clearly stated that electoral bonds can lead to money laundering, he said, adding that in 2017-18, the BJP got 95 per cent share of electoral bonds.

'The EC filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in 2019 stating that the electoral bond would end the transparency of donations received by political parties. The EC has softened its stance now,' the chief minister said.

'The Modi government should immediately withdraw electoral bonds which are promoting black money. Simply withdrawing it will not serve the purpose. SC should take the petition regarding electoral bonds to its logical conclusion to ensure transparency in the political funding,' he said.

Gehlot said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to put and end to black money. 'He could neither bring back black money from abroad, nor could demonetisation reduce it,' he said. PTI SDA AAR AAR