Voices of dissent being muzzled, fear prevails: Oppn to President
Major opposition parties met President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday and put forth their concerns over recent incidents of violence, including attacks by cow vigilantes, and attempts to "muzzle voices of dissent".
A delegation of leaders of various political parties, led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, called on the President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and sought his urgent intervention "to ensure the rule of law" in the country.
They presented a memorandum to him listing their various concerns and urged the President to ensure that constitutional democracy and fundamental rights of citizens are protected. Leaders of prominent opposition parties including the Congress, the Left parties, TMC, SP, BSP, JD-U and the RJD were part of the delegation. After the delegation met the President, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "An environment of fear and insecurity is prevailing in the country and voices of dissent are being muzzled."
"We have requested the President for his urgent intervention to protect India's constitutional democracy and safeguard the fundamental rights of citizens to ensure the rule of law in this country," he told reporters. The delegation also raised issues of alleged EVM tampering during their meeting. Azad said the delegation drew the attention of the President to the recent political developments which have "seriously undermined the accepted norms of governance and institutional integrity". He said an environment of fear and insecurity is prevailing in the country and voices of dissent are being muzzled.
"In a democracy, the rule of law must prevail, but self- styled lumpen elements have indulged in violence, mob lynching of citizens and harassment is being witnessed across the country," he said.
He cited recent incidents of lynching of a dairy farmer in Alwar in Rajasthan and similar incidents in Una in Gujarat, Dadri in UP and Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir, besides many others across the country. The delegation also raised the issue that critical appointments have been made "arbitrarily bypassing the Parliament and other institutions".
They also alleged that key legislations are being "disguised" as Money Bills "to bypass and undermine the Constitution position of Rajya Sabha".
Azad said the states ruled by non-BJP parties "are being destabilised by misusing the powers of Governors and artificial majority is cobbled up by unethical means" and recent examples of Goa and Manipur were cited in this regard.