‘Congress another name for horse-trading’: Party ‘allies’ call out ‘Save Democracy’ campaign

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Even as the Congress party embarked on a’Save Democracy’ campign against what it called open horse-trading of its MLAs in Rajasthan, erstwhile allies and fellow national opposition leaders have called out the party for “double-speak” on the issue. “Congress is just another name for horse-trading,” said JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday, while BSP chief Mayawati said she has been waiting for the right time to teach them a lesson. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury accused the Congress of trying to destabilise the Left-led government in Kerala, even as he said the party will support the embattled Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan.

Amid the Sachin Pilot defection and the tussle for power in Rajasthan, the Congress had launched an online campaign to “expose” the “BJP’s designs to violate” constitutional and democratic norms. The party this week carried out the ‘SpeakUpForDemocracy’ online campaign that seeks to “expose” what it called the saffron party’s “designs” to topple the Ashok Gehlot dispensation in Rajasthan and other state governments run by non-BJP parties.

“India’s democracy will function in accordance with the Constitution and echo the voice of the people. The people of the country will protect democracy and the Constitution by rejecting the BJP’s conspiracy of deceit and deception,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. Gandhi also put out a video that accused the BJP of “ripping up the constitution and demolishing democracy” even as the whole country was in the middle of the pandemic. “It had done the same in Madhya Pradesh. We demand to immediately convene an assembly session, which is within our constitutional rights,” he demanded in the video.

JD(S)’s Kumaraswamy says both Congress, BJP criminals in MLA purchase matters

Former Karnataka chief minister Kumaraswamy, “In fact, the term horse-trading in politics came to be in use because of it,” he said. “Congress has launched a nationwide Save Democracy, campaign against the BJP which is buying MLAs to topple democratically elected governments. What has Congress done? Haven’t they lured all BSP MLAs who supported the Congress to form the government in Rajasthan? Is this not a buyout?” Kumaraswamy asked.

He was referring to the merger of all six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs with the Congress in September last year. “If you are dividing like-minded party MLAs supporting [you] through deceit, who would support you? Are these mistakes not visible to you?” he asked the Congress.

Kumaraswamy also reminded the Congress, which was crying hoarse about purchase of MLAs, that it had divided JD(S) in Karnataka in the past. “Haven’t they made attempts to divide? Is it not a fact that for the sake of one Rajya Sabha seat, the Congress government in Karnataka purchased eight JD(S) MLAs? Is this democracy? Both parties [Congress and BJP] are criminals in purchase matters.” Eight JD(S) MLAs had voted against the party’s official candidate and supported Congress in the biennial elections to Rajya Sabha from Karnataka in 2016.

“When S.M. Krishna was the chief minister [of Karnataka] didn’t the Congress buy our MLAs? Didn’t the Congress conspire to form a government after the 2018 assembly polls by buying our MLAs? Does Congress have the moral courage to answer these questions?” Kumaraswamy asked.

Mayawati says BSP has been waiting for the right time to teach Congress a lesson

She also said BSP had been waiting for the “right time” to hit back at the Congress for the merger. In a statement, Mayawati said after the results of the Rajasthan assembly elections, the BSP had supported the Congress to keep “communal forces” at bay.

The BSP chief claimed that, after becoming the chief minister, Gehlot acted “unconstitutionally” to merge the six BSP MLAs in the state with the Congress party. Mayawati said Gehlot’s move was against the 10th Schedule of the Constitution dealing with defections. A whip was issued on Sunday by the BSP to its MLAs to vote against the Congress government in case of a trust vote. Mayawati said her party would also approach the Supreme Court, if the need arises, in the case. 

CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury claims efforts being made to destabilise Kerala government

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged that Congress was working in tandem with the BJP to destablise the Left-led Kerala government on the pretext of the gold smuggling case. He, however, said the two legislators of his party will support the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan. Addressing a virtual press conference at the end of a two-day meeting of the party’s central committee, Yechury alleged the assaults on state governments have intensified during the pandemic.  

The CPI(M) leader hit out at the BJP for engineering governments in various states. The efforts to destabilise the state governments have in fact intensified during the pandemic. We have seen how the BJP has engineered the governments in Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and now what they are doing in Rajasthan, he said. Yechury also criticised Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra for not abiding by the constitutional principle in the current political situation in the state.

He clarified that both the legislators of CPI(M) in Rajasthan assembly will “defeat the BJP in its attempts to topple the Ashok Gehlot government in the state”. “Both our MLAs are adhering to this understanding. Whenever the question arises, we will take a position to defeat BJP’s machinations,” Yechury added.

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