8 opposition parties have written a letter to the prime Minister following the arrest of AAP leader Manish Sisodia, in the letter the opposition has alleged that central agencies are being misused to target the opposition and that their actions are politically motivated.
Amid the ongoing political battle over the Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia’s arrest, eight opposition parties have written a letter to the Prime Minister alleging that the central administrative agencies are being misused to target the opposition, especially around the time of elections. Some notable opposition leaders who signed the letter are Chief Ministers K Chandrashekar Rao, Mamata Banerjee, Bhagwant Mann, and Arvind Kejriwal. The Congress, Nitish Kumar of JDU, and HD Kumaraswamy of JDS have not joined the initiative. The Congress, meantime, has come under fire from the AAP for consistently refusing to address critical national concerns. The AAP stated that Congress has consistently refused to stand beside the opposition parties in matters of national concern.
The opposition leaders used Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma as an example, who was investigated by the authorities in 2014 and 2015 for his involvement in the Saradha chit fund fraud; during these investigations, he was a member of the Congress party. Others who have signed the letter are National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Nationalist Congress Party head Sharad Pawar, Sena’s Uddav Thackeray, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav.
“We hope you would agree that India is still a democratic country. The blatant misuse of central agencies against the members of the opposition appears to suggest that we have transitioned from being a democracy to an autocracy,” the letter stated. The opposition leaders also stated in the letter that Manish Sisodia’s arrest was a mistake as there is no evidence against him.
In the letter, the opposition parties have said that a majority of investigations and arrests made against politicians since 2014 had been done against opposition leaders, the opposition also alleged that central administrative agencies turn a blind eye to investigations if the accused belongs to the BJP, or if the person in question joins the BJP during the course of the investigation, citing examples of people such as Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy, both of whom joined the BJP from the TMC (Trinamool Congress), alleging that the ongoing investigations on them with regards to the Narada sting operation did not progress after they changed parties.
The opposition leaders also said in the letter that many arrests made by central authorities around the time of elections are against the opposition and are politically motivated; they said that such activities spark suspicion against the central agencies and create much doubt about political affiliations, alliances, and favouritism in the agencies. To support their argument, the leaders gave the examples of many opposition leaders who were arrested or had cases lodged against them around the time of elections; examples included Lalu Prasad Yadav of the RJD, Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena, Azam Khan of the Samajwadi party, Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh of the NCP, and Abhishek Banerjee of the TMC.
Mr. Sisodia was detained for allegedly engaging in corruption when drafting Delhi’s alcohol policy. The BJP dismissed the AAP’s claim of political revenge, claiming that he could not have used that accomplishment to cover his corruption even if he had improved schools while serving as the education minister.
Regardless of their political affiliation, the central agencies have consistently claimed that they do not detain people on baseless accusations and only release them if a thorough inquiry reveals they are not guilty.