New Delhi: After rebel Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde took oath as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis as the Deputy Chief Minister, Congress general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh slammed the BJP alleging that the party “unethically destabilizes democratically elected governments.”
The Congress leader alleged that the BJP has undemocratically and unethically captured yet another state government through the “naked display of money and muscle power.”
BJP wants to capture power at any cost, either directly or through remote control. What happened in Maharashtra is shameful for Indian democracy. Since 2014, Ramesh said the prime focus of the BJP has been to bring down elected governments in states rather than serve the public. The offices of the Governors and Speakers and agencies like the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation are being openly misused, he alleged.
“Buying MLAs has become so commonplace that the Finance Minister blurted out the truth today when she suggested the imposition of GST on horse trading,” he said.
Ramesh alleged that BJP can go to any extent to win elections – from misuse of money power to polarization and violence. Despite using all these tactics, if the voters reject them, then they start hatching conspiracies to topple elected governments.
Referring to Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, the former union minister said that in the year 2016, the BJP brought down the Congress government in Uttarakhand in a similar way.
The government that was elected for five years was reduced to a minority in four years by engineering defections. The same year, in Arunachal Pradesh, 43 out of 44 Congress MLAs were made to defect to the BJP-backed Front- People’s Party of Arunachal, under the leadership of Chief Minister Pema Khandu, he alleged.
The Congress party had become the single largest party by winning 28 out of 60 seats in the 2017 assembly elections in Manipur. The BJP had only 21 seats but the Congress was not given a chance by the Governor to prove its majority. A similar modus operandi was carried out in Bihar in the year 2017. The BJP unethically toppled the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government that lasted 20 months, Ramesh alleged.
He further pointed out the toppling of the Congress-JDS government in Karnataka in 2019.
The senior Congress leader said in the month of March 2020, as the COVID-19 had entered the country after wreaking havoc elsewhere, a political conspiracy was being hatched in Madhya Pradesh.
The world was preparing to deal with the challenge of Coronavirus but the BJP government was busy capturing elected governments.
In June 2020, he said 8 MLAs of Gujarat Congress were made to join BJP, only for the purpose of winning Rajya Sabha elections. In 2021, a similar story was repeated in Puducherry.
Even before the assembly elections, the BJP toppled the Congress government in the state, he stated.
In Rajasthan, BJP tried to mislead 19 Congress MLAs, but their machinations failed and the Congress government continues to serve the people of Rajasthan.
“We strongly condemn the way BJP is destabilizing both democratically elected governments and democratically installed governments. This is not only an insult to democracy, but also an insult to the people, who voted against the ideology of BJP,” he added.
Meanwhile on Thursday evening, Eknath Shinde, who led a revolt against Shiv Sena leading to the collapse of the 31-month-old Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, took oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
He was administered the oath by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai. BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis took an oath as Deputy Chief Minister. After taking the oath, Shinde and Fadnavis held the first cabinet meeting of the new government in Mumbai yesterday.
Fadnavis, who was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 2014-19, announced at a joint press conference in Mumbai on Thursday that Eknath Shinde will be the new CM. Fadnavis also announced at the press conference that he will not be part of the government.
Later, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in a tweet that Fadnavis has decided to be part of the new government in Maharashtra in the interest of the people of the state after a word from BJP chief JP Nadda and congratulated him for his decision.
He said in a tweet that Fadnavis has shown a “big heart” and the decision reflects his true dedication and attitude of service towards Maharashtra.
“On the word of BJP chief JP Nadda, Devendra Fadnavis, showing a big heart, has decided to be part of the government in the interest of Maharashtra and the people of the state.
This decision reflects his true dedication and attitude of service towards Maharashtra. I congratulate him from the bottom of my heart,” Amit Shah said.
Uddhav Thackeray’s resignation as Chief Minister on Wednesday came days after Shinde led a rebellion with at least 39 Shiv Sena MLAs.
At a press conference with Fadnavis yesterday, Shinde said the decision taken is committed to Bal Thackeray’s Hindutva and for development work in the constituencies of the 50 MLAs supporting him.
“A total of 50 MLAs are with us, including 40 MLAs from Shiv Sena…We have fought this battle so far with their help…I will not let even a scratch mar the trust that these 50 people have placed in me – let alone break that trust,” Shinde said.
“The decision that we have taken is committed to Balasaheb’s Hindutva and for the development work in the constituencies of our MLAs. We have 50 MLAs with us,” he added.
The Shiv Sena leader further said that though BJP has 120 MLAs, Fadnavis did not take up the post of Chief Minister.