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ED being used for character assassination of Opposition leaders: Sachin Pilot

Updated on: 21 February,2024 08:56 AM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Pilot said protests by farmers in north India underline the problem of policy and intention of the government

ED being used for character assassination of Opposition leaders: Sachin Pilot

Sachin Pilot. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Tuesday alleged the Centre was using probe agencies like ED for "character assassination" of opposition leaders and crushing their voices, reported news agency PTI.

He also attacked the government over unemployment in the country.

"95 per cent of cases the ED has registered are against Opposition leaders but the conviction rate is just one per cent. This means the ED (Enforcement Directorate) is being used for character assassination of opposition leaders and crushing the voice of Opposition," the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister told reporters, reported PTI.

He said protests by farmers in north India underline the problem of policy and intention of the government.

"Country's assets have gone into the hands of select people because of the policies of the government," Pilot added, reported PTI.

Earlier, amid some INDIA bloc constituents switching sides to the NDA, Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Sunday said the opposition alliance is "strong" and the BJP is attempting a "frantic rejig" of the political landscape as it is worried over the collective strength of the coalition, reported PTI.

In an interview with PTI, Pilot also said West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is very much part of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), and expressed confidence that a way forward will be found in seat-sharing talks with her party.

He also said the BJP talking about 370 seats for itself and 400-plus for the NDA was more of "bravado and rhetoric" than a practical assessment on the ground.

As the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra travels through Chhattisgarh, the AICC general secretary in-charge of the state dismissed suggestions that the yatra was adversely affecting the poll preparations of the party and asserted that talks for seat-sharing with allies were going on simultaneously, reported PTI.

"As we speak, we are finalising seat-sharing agreements with most of our allies in different states. So it is not a question of either/or. The yatra is going on but other things are being handled by the AICC leadership and the state in-charges. The Congress president (Mallikarjun Kharge) is himself overseeing all these meetings and negotiations that are being held," Pilot said, reported PTI.

"Our attempt is to make sure we fight unitedly. Yes we have had some that have left our alliance but largely the alliance is intact and very soon we will be announcing the seat sharing and a future roadmap that the alliance will come up with," the Congress general secretary told PTI.

Asked about suggestions that the INDIA bloc is unravelling with JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar crossing over to the NDA, RLD's Jayant Chaudhary's imminent switch-over and Banerjee attacking the Congress, Pilot said, "Look at the amount of partners that left the NDA '? Akali Dal, Shiv Sena, PDP, AIADMK. So the number of those leaving the NDA is far larger than some of those people who may not be with us today."

"But the INDIA bloc is strong and Mamata Banerjee is a part of the INDIA alliance, we are having discussions with the TMC," the 46-year-old leader said, reported PTI.

He said Nitish Kumar's switch over to the NDA raises the question of credibility also and he would have to answer to the people of Bihar when he goes to polls. "People may come and go, one or two moving sides will not make an impact on the effort we are putting in as the INDIA bloc."

A one-on-one contest between the INDIA bloc and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is tilted in favour of the opposition coalition, Pilot claimed, reported PTI.

"I can assure you that with regards to the INDIA bloc the final outcome will be a positive one. Every political party has its own turf to protect. A regional party will not want to cede too much space, as a national party, we also have an obligation to our state units. So there is always going to be some give and take. We have to be mindful of the sensitivities of each of our partners but the final objective of the alliance is to come together and present an alternative to the country, and we will achieve that," he said, reported PTI.

The INDIA bloc is "strong" and very soon it will announce the seat-sharing arrangements in different states, he said, adding the alliance will pose a "formidable challenge" to the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, reported PTI.

(With inputs from PTI)

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