Opposition parties from South India join charge on Centre over ‘misuse’ of probe agencies

They joined the Congress for a meeting just hours before its chief Sonia Gandhi appeared before the ED for questioning.

ByShilpa Nair

Published Jul 21, 2022 | 5:22 PMUpdatedJul 28, 2022 | 2:43 PM

Leaders of 13 opposition parties meet to discuss "misuse" of investigation agencies by PM Modi-led government. (Special Arrangement )

Opposition parties from South India on Thursday, 21 July, joined the chorus against the Central government’s alleged misuse of probe agencies.

They were part of the 13 Opposition outfits that joined the Congress in Parliament for a meeting mere hours before party chief Sonia Gandhi appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with a money-laundering case.

At the meeting, the parties slammed the Central government for unleashing a “relentless campaign of vendetta” against its political rivals through the “mischievous misuse” of investigation agencies.

“Prominent leaders of several political parties have been deliberately targeted and subjected to harassment in an unprecedented manner,” read the joint statement released by the Opposition parties.

In attendance 

Representatives of the 13 opposition parties also resolved to continue and intensify their fight against the “anti-people, anti-farmer, anti-Constitution policies” of the BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Interestingly, the TRS — which largely stayed away from such meetings chaired by the Congress over the last few years — also participated in the meeting.

With the Telangana Assembly election just around the corner, Chief Minister and TRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao has been vociferously taking on the Central government and the BJP, which is perceived to be gaining a foothold in the southern state.

Members from the DMK, CPI, CPI(M), NCP, RJD, NC, Shiv Sena, MDMK, VCK, and IUML were among the other parties who took part in the meeting.

The Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, and Aam Aadmi Party were the significant absentees.

Proceedings boycotted

The Opposition parties looked to highlight the issue of the alleged misuse of Central probe agencies in both Houses of Parliament.

However, it was not allowed by the government, claimed Congress MP Manickam Tagore.

“In the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the Congress members and Opposition parties raised the issue of the misuse of the ED, and we demanded a discussion on it,” he said.

“The government was not ready, and it bulldozed Question Hour. They adjourned the house by 11.30 am. Hence the Congress has boycotted today’s proceedings,” the Congress leader said.

Members of the Congress also staged a protest outside Parliament condemning the ED summons to their party chief.