New Delhi, Aug 18: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday said the dividing line between the "state" and the "party" was blurred under the BJP led government. Speaking at a panel discussion here, the former Union minister also said that the UPA government which was accused of lacking a "strong leader" delivered better economic growth.
He was speaking on the topic 'Conflict in Democracy'. To a question about the alleged use of "street violence" by those in power, Sibal said, "This is a problem which arises when there is no difference between the state and the party.
"The reason why this is happening on the streets is that the party is ruling the government, but the government is not ruling this nation. "If the BJP comes back to power, this will continue, and if there is a coalition government, this will not happen," he opined.
The senior Congress leader argued that coalition politics produced much more economic growth for the country than a government led by a strong leader, in an apparent swipe at the Narendra Modi regime.
"We (UPA government) had GDP (growth) of 8.1 per cent for 10 years. According to this government, we had no strong leader, but yet we delivered and it is the coalition that delivered, not a party which had absolute majority," he said.
"The quality of democracy in the country is now different from that between 2004 to 2014, but democracy is still alive, no matter who is in power," Sibal said.
"However, the nature of democracy has changed and the reason why the nature of democracy has changed (is) because we have a centralised system of decision-making (now)," he said. The government is being run solely by the Prime Minister's Office, he claimed.
"Key institutions in this country are now suspected of collaborating with the government. It is true of the Election Commission, CBI, Enforcement agencies, Income Tax, so they are long arms of the government," the Congress leader said.
"Earlier, the party in power did not amalgamate itself into the state, the two remained separate; but now for the first time in our history, there is no difference between the party and the state," Sibal said.
"Nagpur controls India", the eminent lawyer said, alluding to the RSS which has its headquarters in the city.