Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday alleged that to save his "close friend (industrialist Gautam) Adani", Prime Minister Narendra Modi was stifling democracy and targeting senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Talking to reporters, Chavan also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was targeting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as the saffron party was scared of him.
"Gandhi had asked straight questions in Parliament about the Adani mega scam - that from where Rs 20,000 crore invested in Adani's shell companies had come, whose money was it and from where this black money generated," he said.
According to Chavan, Gandhi said that a Chinese resident was involved in it and sought to know why nobody was asking who that person from the neighbouring country was.
"Gandhi also asked about Modi's relationship with Adani and showed his photograph of relaxing in the latter's plane. He also raised several other questions related to defence, airports," he said.
"Nine days after Gandhi's speech in Parliament, a defamation case was restarted against him, while the portion of his speech related to Adani was removed from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha records. PM Modi is stifling democracy to save his close friend Adani and targeting Gandhi," he added.
The opposition wants a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Adani issue, but for the first time in the country's history, the ruling party (BJP) is not allowing Parliament to function, he said, adding that the BJP is unnecessarily raising the issue of OBCs to divert people's attention from the main issue and is an attempt to save Adani.
The saffron party is targeting Gandhi on the issue of OBC as he had asked Modi a question, Chavan said.
"It is a ploy to divert people's attention. How can a person who walked for 4000 km in Bharat Jodo Yatra for spreading unity targets a particular community?" he asked.
The senior Congress leader also alleged that the way Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha merely 24 hours after the court verdict despite the latter giving him 30 days to appeal in the higher courts reflects that "BJP is too much afraid of Gandhi."