New Delhi: The Congress hit out at the government Saturday over ED raids against Robert Vadra's associates, alleging that the Modi dispensation was using "high-handed tactics" to threaten people as it was in a "state of panic of the highest degree" sensing poll defeats.
BJP in state of extreme panic, sensing defeats in Assembly polls: Congress
At a press conference at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters here, party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi also alleged that there was never such a "terror raj" in the "constitutional rule" of India.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out searches against three persons linked to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra Friday. "They are afraid of the Congress and its values, so they are threatening people and using high-handed tactics against those who are relatives of our leaders or are associated with them," Singhvi said.
"This is called character assassination by innuendos and insinuations. When they do not have facts, this is what they will do," he added. The Congress leader claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in a "state of panic of the highest degree", sensing rejection from the people in the just-concluded Assembly polls in five states. "The word 'panic' would be an understatement and all these raids and searches against various people are nothing but a ploy to divert the attention of the people from the real issues and the BJP's failures," he said.
The ED had carried out searches against the three persons in connection with its probe into alleged "commissions received by some suspects in defence deals" and illegal assets stashed abroad, officials had said Friday.
Singhvi claimed that the searches were carried out in violation of laws, adding, "We have nothing against any particular person, but we are talking about principles.... No Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) of the FIR has been shared, no search warrant issued, no access to lawyers, and detained persons were also physically roughed up."
"All of this is happening because the BJP feels the certainty of the rejection by the people and is desperate to divert people's attention from the real issues," he said. Addressing the press conference, senior Congress leader Pawan Khera alleged that the current dispensation had "compromised the integrity" of agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), ED and the Income Tax (IT) department.
On the exit poll predictions on the election results in the five states, Singhvi said, "We (Congress) do not believe in these (exit polls) fully, but these are indicative of the results to come." He claimed that the opposition party had its "internal polls before the exit polls were shown on TV and the Congress will register a bigger victory than projected in the media". Singhvi also claimed that the BJP was facing a "complete rout" in the five states.
"The (Narendra) Modi government's mask of corruption crusader lies in shambles with successive scams getting uncovered over the last four-and-a-half years and zero action against fraudsters. Instead, the only tool which is being employed by it to hide its massive failures is mudslinging by the 'dirty tricks department' like the CBI or the ED to smear opposition leaders," the Congress leader alleged.
The "illegal raids" against Vadra's associates were "another episode of these concerted conspiracies to target the Congress", he claimed, adding, "The Congress will not be cowed down by such shallow threats."
Singhvi also attacked the government on other issues and said surgical strikes were "neither invented when Modi became the prime minister nor when the BJP became the ruling party". "They (BJP) are guilty of the most crass and cheap politicisation of the Army," the Congress leader alleged, adding that the "anonymity of the Army is its biggest strength and it was maintained by every government except this one".
"But, we are grateful that some amount of truth is coming out and it is coming out at the highest level," he said.
The results of the Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram Assembly polls will be announced on December 11.