Speaking to reporters in Thane, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said PM Modi had worked only for his "friends" in the last nine years and had helped put public money in their pockets
The Maharashtra Congress on Friday said the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as Lok Sabha MP was "murder of democracy" and dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to investigate allegations against firms of billionaire Gautam Adani.
The Congress held press conferences in different parts of the state to condemn Gandhi's disqualification, after he was sentenced to two years in jail by a Gujarat court on March 23, and the silence of the Union government on Adani, whose firms have been accused of stock manipulation and accounting fraud by United States-based Hindenburg Research.
These allegations have been refuted by the Adani group.
Speaking to reporters in Thane, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said PM Modi had worked only for his "friends" in the last nine years and had helped put public money in their pockets.
All government contracts and PSUs have been awarded to Adani, Patole alleged.
Gandhi was disqualified for raising his voice against Modi and questioning the misdeeds of the Centre, Patole said, adding his party was holding such press conferences to give people correct information about these irregularities.
Senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra minister Balasaheb Thorat said action was taken against Gandhi due to political vendetta, adding the country was moving towards the "end of democracy".
"The situation in the country is alarming and there is a question about whether democracy exists in the country or not. Rahul Gandhi was not allowed to speak in Parliament. Differences of opinion happen in a democracy but if this is not allowed by the BJP, then the country is going towards the end of democracy," Thorat said.
Also read: Maha: Will Modi show courage to probe Adani's investments through 'shell' companies, asks Patole
Former chief minister Ashok Chavan said democracy and freedom of expression were under threat in the nine years of NDA rule.
Gandhi was punished for speaking about Adani and pointed out that the criminal defamation case filed against the Congress leader was by a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, Ashok Chavan claimed.
"We will give a befitting reply to the BJP's bullying," he asserted.
Former CM Prithiviraj Chavan said it was the duty of opposition parties to ask questions to the government but Congress leaders are not being allowed to do so in Parliament.
"What is the relationship between Modi and Gautam Adani? Rahul Gandhi has also asked questions on the funding of the (Adani) group but these were expunged from the Parliament, After that, an old case was dug out and Rahul Gandhi was punished," Prithviraj Chavan alleged.
This is arbitrary action and the Congress will go to the "people's court" and raise its voice against the government, he said.
Patole spoke in Thane, Thorat in Ahmednagar, Ashok Chavan in Parbhani and Prithviraj Chavan in Pune.
Press conferences were also held by Legislative Council group leader Satej Patil in Sangli and state Congress working president Naseem Khan in Palghar.
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