Bengaluru: Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy said on Thursday that the Narendra Modi government wants to demolish democracy in the country and accused the Centre of using central-probe agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to threaten MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) combine in Karnataka.
Addressing reporters after the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) B S Yeddyurappa was sworn in as chief minister of the southern Indian state of Karnataka, he also reached out to non-BJP parties to join hands and bury their differences if any to "protect the interest of the country".
Terming state Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision to invite Yeddyurappa to form the government "unconstitutional", the former chief minister lashed out at the Centre and said, "How is this Central government behaving? This Narendra Modi government wants to demolish democracy in the country."
Kumaraswamy, whose claim to form the government was ignored by the governor, added that giving a party without majority the opportunity to form government and giving it 15 days for a floor test was probably a first in the country.
"What was the reason for 15 days...is it for business?" he asked.
Responding to a question, Kumaraswamy said the Modi government was misusing central government agencies. "They are threatening and putting pressure on MLAs," he alleged.
Referring to speculation that Congress MLA Anand Singh, who has been out of touch with his party, could rejoin the BJP, Kumaraswamy said the ED was being used against him as there was a case pending against him.
"I have not spoken to Anand Singh... one of the Congress' MLAs told me that Singh had called him and expressed his problem... The Congress MLA gave me the message and asked me to take a lead in this issue," he claimed.
Kumaraswamy also asked non-BJP parties to unite and requested his father and former prime minister Deve Gowda to take the initiative.
"I'm requesting my father to take a lead to request the chiefs of all regional parties, chief ministers and leaders of states to unite against the BJP, which wants to destroy democratic systems in this country," he said. The JD(S) leader said all parties other than BJP should join hands and fight it out together.
"I request Mamata Banerjee, Chandrababu Naidu, Chandrashekar Rao, Mayawati, Naveen Patnaik. To protect the interest of the country... if there are any differences we must keep them aside," he added.