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'Those Not With Modi Go to Jail': Opposition on Hemant Soren's Arrest by ED

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said that the BJP is running a campaign to destroy democracy.

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Shortly after Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Hemant Soren stepped down as chief minister and was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday, 31 January, the Congress – JMM's ally in the state – called the central agencies "tools of the Bharatiya Janata Party to eliminate the Opposition."

Taking to X, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said that "those who are not with Prime Minister Narendra Modi are bound to be jailed."

"Imposing ED against Jharkhand Chief Minister, Shri Hemant Soren and forcing him to resign is a blow to federalism. Intimidating opposition leaders by making the provisions of PMLA draconian is part of the BJP's tool kit. The BJP's work of destabilising the Opposition governments one by one as part of a conspiracy is continuing," Kharge said.

"If democracy has to be saved from dictatorship, the BJP will have to be defeated. We will not be afraid, we will continue to fight from Parliament and from the streets," he added.

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'A Murder of Democracy': Congress Leaders

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, said that "the BJP is running a campaign to destroy democracy."

"ED, CBI, IT etc are no longer government agencies, now they have become BJP's 'eliminate opposition cell'. The BJP, itself steeped in corruption, is running a campaign to destroy democracy in its obsession with power," Gandhi said.

"Opposition-free parliament, democracy-free India, question-free media and harmony-free public – this is the aim of the BJP government," wrote Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on X.

While Congress MP Jairam Ramesh told news agency ANI that "Narendra Modi and Amit Shah believe only in politics of vendetta and political harassment," former Chhattisgarh CM and Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel termed Soren's arrest a "murder of democracy."

"...Action is being taken by implicating an elected government in fake cases... These people want to run the country without Opposition," Baghel said, as per news agency ANI.

The Congress is the third largest party in the state with 17 seats and the second largest in the ruling alliance after JMM with 29 seats. The three other allies in the government include the Nationalist Congress Party (1 seat), CPI(ML) (1 seat), and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (1 seat).

Meanwhile, former Bihar Deputy CM and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took to X to say:

"Bihar, Chandigarh, and now Jharkhand! BJP has ruined democracy and federalism in a single week. It is not hidden from anyone what the central government is doing by destroying the impartiality of the investigating agencies due to the fear of electoral defeat and by making the agencies cells of the BJP."

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'Law Is Above All': BJP

Speaking to ANI, Jharkhand BJP spokesperson Pratul Shah Deo said that "the CM forgot that the law is above all."

"...This was bound to happen in Jharkhand. The CM was accused of being involved in a Rs 70,000 crore scam. After selling everything, he sold defence land in Ranchi too. His problems increased after that. He kept justifying it and defying ED summons ... like most 'political princes', he felt that the law will not touch him. He has shamed Jharkhand nationally and internationally," the leader said.

Jharkhand BJP president Babulal Marandi, meanwhile, said that Soren "has been looting the state since he took charge as CM."

"We had never heard of so much corruption... You think that you can do anything with money, but it is PM Modi's government now," he said, as per ANI.

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Topics:  Mallikarjun Kharge   Hemant Soren   JMM 

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