Democracy in danger under BJP rule: Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. PTI Photo

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday said the country's economy was weakening and the Centre should follow the policies of former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao and then finance minister Manmohan Singh to upend the downward trend.

He said the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Manmohan Singh and even the husband of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have expressed concern over India's economy.

In a newspaper article published on October 14, Sitharaman's husband Prabhakar took a swipe at the BJP-led government over its economic vision and asked it to embrace the economic architecture offered by Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh.

"They (central government) should follow the policies of Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh, and start working. Then only the country will be saved," Gehlot said at a public rally here.

"Democracy is under threat... We are becoming weaker economically. The entire country and the world is saying this," he said, adding, "You can imagine the state of affairs when the finance minister's husband is writing an article that the government has no understanding of the economic situation."

Because of the non-visionary policies of the government the country was heading in the wrong direction. The growth rate is slowing, the chief minister said.

"People are chanting (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's name despite the fact that there is no business, the economy is falling and there are no jobs. Such is the situation, how long will this country tolerate?" he asked.

"We don't have any enmity with Modi, (Amit) Shah, the BJP or RSS. This is a fight of ideology," he said.

"They talk about nationalism during elections. Are we not nationalist? Will we have to seek certificate from BJP to become nationalists? Doing politics in the name of religion, provoking people of one religion against another, is this (the way of doing) the politics in a democracy?" Gehlot posed.

In the rally, he called upon the people to vote for Congress candidate Rita Chaudhary in Mandawa Assembly bypoll which will be held on October 21. State Congress president Sachin Pilot and other leaders were also present in the meeting. 

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