GUWAHATI, Nov 3: Opposition parties in Assam Friday claimed that 95 per cent of cases registered by Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the last four years are against leaders of political parties which are rivals of the ruling BJP.
Not a single case named any leader of the saffron party, they said.
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In contrast, leaders of the Congress and its allies were named in several cases taken up by these two federal agencies when the UPA was in power for ten years at the Centre, they asserted.
The 15-party United Opposition Forum, Assam, asserted that these were manifestations that the BJP is using the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) as a ‘weapon to control’ its political rivals.
Addressing a press conference by the Forum here, Assam Trinamool Congress chief Ripun Bora said, “The CBI and ED are among the two most important autonomous investigating agencies of the country. But unfortunately, under the BJP-led government since 2014, these are being used by BJP as puppets and as weapons to control political rivals.”
Besides TMC, other parties in the Forum include the Congress, NCP, Assam Jatiya Parishad, CPI, CPI(M) and the Raijor Dal.
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Bora claimed, “95 per cent of cases taken up by these two probe agencies between 2019 to 2023 were against leaders of opposition political parties.”
A total of 129 cases against opposition political leaders have been registered during this period. Of these, highest of 34 have been registered against TMC leaders, followed by 24 against Congress leaders and 11 against NCP top brass.
“On the other hand, there are no instances of the ED or CBI registering cases against any BJP leader during 2014-2023. Rather, the BJP government has kept pending the old cases under ED and CBI against the party’s leaders,” he added.
He cited instances of cases against chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Union minister Narayan Rane and West Bengal leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari.
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“These leaders have been cleansed in the BJP’s washing machine,” he said.
On the other hand, 56 opposition leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Abhishek Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal and Farooq Abdullah, have been interrogated, arrested or their property raided from 2014-23, Bora said.
“These clearly show the vindictive nature of the BJP-led NDA. In contrast, during the 10 years of UPA regime at the Centre, CBI and ED had registered 26 cases against political leaders, of which 14 were against opposition leaders and rest were against leaders of Congress or its allies,” he maintained.
Questioning the timing of summons sent to opposition leaders, Bora pointed out that Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal is being called when campaigning for polls in states are on.
Vaibhav Gehlot of Congress was called in the middle of the campaign for Rajasthan polls and TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee was summoned as the party’s crucial mass contact programme was going on in West Bengal, he pointed.
“Whenever there is a major political activity by the opposition parties, their leaders are summoned (by ED or CBI). It is a clear tactic to keep them away from political activities. People are therefore compelled to believe that the prime duty of CBI and ED is to control the political opponents of BJP instead of controlling economic offences and other crimes,” Bora said.
He raised questions on the Centre’s failure to bring back major economic offenders who have allegedly defrauded crores of rupees.
Reacting to the alleged humiliation of TMC MP Mahua Moitra during questioning at the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee’s hearing on Thursday, Bora, a former Rajya Sabha member, said, “It is a shameful act and we condemn it.”
“If she has broken any rules, legal action must be taken. However, a woman’s personal liberty cannot be questioned. Her character was questioned and she had to quit midway,” he added. (PTI)