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On Nitin Gadkari’s “Strong Congress” Remark, A Party Leader’s Response

Sachin Sawant also expressed concern over the BJP’s alleged misuse of central probe agencies

Mumbai: Maharashtra Congress leader Sachin Sawant today welcomed Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s “a strong Congress is important for democracy” remark, but asked him to speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on what he claimed as BJP’s efforts to destroy the opposition.

Mr Sawant, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary, also expressed concern over the BJP’s alleged misuse of central probe agencies in an attempt to harass governments in states where the saffron party is not in power.

“We appreciate whatever concern Gadkari ji has shown. But he should also speak to his leader Modi ji about the BJP’s efforts to destroy opposition parties and democracy by taking charge of central probe agencies,” Mr Sawant said.

“The Supreme Court too seems helpless. You are using probe agencies to harass governments of non-BJP parties,” he alleged. The kind of politics being played in the country for the past eight years is unprecedented, he added.

“It will be in the interest of democracy and the country if he (Gadkari) talks to Modi ji on the mindset of the BJP to destroy the opposition party and the attempt to convert democracy into dictatorship,” he said.

Though the sentiments Mr Gadkari expressed are good, he is “not unaware” about how the Modi government is trying to throttle democracy in the country, Mr Sawant said.

The Congress party is the main opposition party in the country and the people will realise that Congress ideology and thoughts are in the interest of the nation, he said.

At an event in Pune on Saturday, Mr Gadkari said a strong Congress is important for democracy and that it was his honest wish that the party becomes strong at the national level.

Mr Gadkari had said that democracy runs on two wheels. “One wheel is the ruling party and another wheel is the opposition. A strong opposition is needed for democracy and that is why I feel from the heart that Congress should become stronger at the national level,” he said.

While the Congress is weakening, other regional parties are taking its space, he said. “It is not good for democracy that other regional parties take the space of Congress,” he added.

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