Won't be intimidated, will keep asking questions: Cong on Shivakumar's arrest
New Delhi, Sep 04: The Congress hit out at the BJP-led Centre on Wednesday over D K Shivakumar''s arrest, asserting the opposition party will not be intimidated by the "politics of persecution" and continue to pose "hard questions" to the government.
It also said the 96 days of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government''s second term are characterised by three words "tyranny, chaos and anarchy".
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari cited economic slowdown, "undeclared emergency" in Kashmir and the situation in Assam following the publication of the updated final NRC, to claim there has been a "complete breakdown of governance" in the Narendra Modi government''s second term.
At a press conference, he alleged in order to cover up this complete breakdown of governance, continued "persecution" of opposition leaders was being carried out and the arrest of Shivakumar is the latest in a series of "continued political vendetta".
"D K Shivakumar''s only crime was that he provided protection to those Congress MLAs of Gujarat who were being poached by the NDA-BJP during the Rajya Sabha elections," Tewari said.
The Enforcement Directorate arrested Shivakumar in the national capital on Tuesday in connection with a money-laundering case after grilling the Congress'' Karnataka troubleshooter repeatedly over the past few days.
"Has there been any conviction of any opposition leaders in the last five years? For the last five years, this politics of persecution has been carried on relentlessly against opposition leaders of every shade and hue," he said.
Tewari said the reason that there has not been a single conviction by any court of law is that there is a difference between persecution and prosecution.
"Persecution only requires misuse and abuse of state instruments. When the lawyers of the government plead for custodial interrogation in the courts of law, it is a euphemism for physical, mental and emotional torture of their political opponents," he said.
"What you have been witnessing in the last five years is not unbiased, neutral prosecution but subjective, arbitrary and whimsical persecution being carried out by investigating agencies at the behest of their political masters," Tewari told reporters.
The Indian National Congress is not going to be cowed down and it is not going to be intimidated. As the premier political party of the country, it will continue to ask the "hard questions", the party spokesperson said.
"We will continue to demand answers, we will continue to agitate and we will continue to keep democracy alive in this country. We will not allow democracy to be stifled through intimidation being perpetrated by the NDA-BJP government," Tewari said.