Nine opposition leaders including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging "misuse of central agencies" amidst the war of words over the arrest of former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in the excise policy case.
"... After a long witch-hunt, Manish Sisodia was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with alleged irregularity without a shred of evidence against him," the opposition leaders said in the letter to PM Modi.
They further said that his arrest would be cited as an example of political witch-hunt and confirms that "India's democratic values stand threatened under an authoritarian BJP regime".
Nine Opposition leaders including Arvind Kejriwal have written to PM Modi on the arrest of former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia in the excise policy case. They have stated that the action appears to suggest that "we have transitioned from being a democracy to an autocracy". pic.twitter.com/ohXn3rNuxI— ANI (@ANI) March 5, 2023
The letter was undersigned by Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) chief Chandrasekhar Rao, Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) chief Farooq Abdullah, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, AAP leader Bhagwat Mann, Rashtriya Janata Dal's (RJD) Tejashwi Yadav and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav. The Congress seems to have stayed away from the letter.
The leaders noted that there has been a rise in number of raids conducted, cases lodged against and arrest of opposition leaders. "Be it Shri Lalu Prasad
Yadav (Rashtriya Janata Dal), Shri Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena), Shri Azam Khan (Samajwadi Party), Shri Nawab Malik, Shri Anil Deshmukh (NCP), Shri Abhishek Banerjee (TMC), central agencies have often sparked suspicion that they were working as extended wings of the ruling dispensation at the Centre," they said, while also questioning the timings of their arrest which would coincide with elections.
They also brought to fore the role of governors in the country, which they alleged is being questioned by the people of the country. "The offices of the Governors across the country are acting in violation of the constitutional provisions and frequently hindering the governance of the state. They are wilfully undermining democratically elected state governments and choosing instead to obstruct governance as per their whims and fancies," they said referring to the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Punjab, Telangana or the Lt Governor of Delhi.
They ended the letter by stating, "In a democracy, the will of the people is supreme. The mandate given by the people should be respected even if it was in favour of a party whose ideology was contrary to yours."