The PM’s office has remained silent and let the party speak
The BJP which put forward a slogan for the elimination of the main Opposition party in the country has now turned its ire on others which petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the misuse of the Union government’s investigative agencies against them. The ruling party has chosen to take on the Opposition leaders who signed the letter personally, and allege that they are all facing reports of corruption.
Citing the misuse of Central agencies and constitutional offices such as that of the governor to settle scores outside of the electoral battlefield, the Opposition leaders had, in their letter, raised a fundamental and mortally fearful doubt — whether India has transitioned from being a democracy to an autocracy. Added to their doubt is the practice the BJP is accused of: Undermining popular opinion using levers of power and destabilising elected governments under the fancy name of Operation Lotus.
The Opposition leaders, by writing to the highest elected office in our country, the Prime Minister, have reposed their faith in the constitutional scheme of our republic. They must hence be answered and assured in a manner that behoves that of the office of the Prime Minister — that the agencies are doing a professional job, that they are going by the law and that there is no targeting of Opposition politicians.
The PM’s office has remained silent and let the party speak. Instead of taking a democratic route and answering the concerns, the ruling party has chosen to cast aspersions on the Opposition and throw muck on them. This is unacceptable.
Electoral democracy as practised in our country allows the first-past-the-post to be the winner, but that does not eliminate the Opposition; they represent a sizeable share of the population. Issues they raise cannot be reduced to personal level and answered with counter-allegations; they must be answered on their merit, and by the PM himself. Taking recourse to personal attacks will not settle doubts; instead it will make the position of the ruling party all the more untenable.