Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala (TOI file photo)
CHANDIGARH: Taking a dig at the BJP, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Thursday alleged while the saffron party has been using “power of currency” to topple elected governments, if others join the same style and brand of politics, then how are they different.
His comments came on the day 12 Congress MLAs of Meghalaya joined the Trinamool Congress.
Surjewala was commenting on the remarks by senior party leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury who had said that a conspiracy was being hatched to break the Congress not only in Meghalaya, but the whole northeast.
“In democracy, people vote to elect you. Anything else is murder of democracy and a betrayal of people's vote, nothing more, nothing less. Why does everybody blame the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi because Modi does not believe in the power of ballot,” he said at a press conference.
“The BJP has been using power of the currency to topple elected governments. They have tried it across the country. They have succeeded in multiple instances, like in Karnataka, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and an attempt was made in Rajasthan too. A successful attempt was made in Arunachal Pradesh where the assembly met in a private hotel,” Surjewala, who is the party's chief spokesperson, said.
He alleged that such attempts were also made in Meghalaya.
“That is why we criticise Modi. If you join the same style and brand of politics, then how are you different?” he asked.
“That is what sets the Congress apart. We do not bring down elected governments, elected through the ballot. That is a question that each one of our political parties in the political spectrum -- whether they are regional parties, or aspiring to become national parties, or belonging to different space in our polity -- need to ponder over and consider,” he added.
The Congress leader said in states where the Congress is the principal opposition to the BJP, “election tourism or use of resources to bring down that fight ultimately only strengthens the BJP”.
“I would like to say clearly to my friends in the TMC and AAP. The TMC fought the last elections in Goa. For five years, they were MIA (missing in action), three months before polls they have gone back again whereby they are trying to allure, promise Rajya Sabha seats and create the space all over again. It is their democratic right, I do not question that, everybody can build their party.
“But in a state where the BJP is poised to lose like in Goa and the Congress will be forming the next government… by trying to weaken the Congress party, are you strengthening the BJP or fighting the BJP, is a question that all my friends whether in TMC or AAP need to ask themselves and introspect,” he said.
Surjewala also sought to know “why is it that every time family members of regional leaders are called by the Enforcement Directorate, some of these parties start going to different states and fight against the Congress?”
Is it because the fight against the BJP becomes weaker (like this), he questioned.