BJP cannot tolerate criticism, considers it sedition: Gehlot
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government, saying it cannot tolerate criticism and considers it sedition. “In a democracy, criticism is welcomed but these people (BJP) cannot tolerate criticism...” he said while speaking at an event to mark the late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary.
He said Rajiv Gandhi believed that democracy should remain strong, and the country’s future should be bright. He added for this, he ensured the right to vote to people above 18.
Gehlot referred to BJP leaders, who question what Congress has done over decades of its rule, and said the party kept democracy intact and the country undivided. He added there has been no military rule like Pakistan in India. “...governments in the country keep coming and going. The present government too was formed only because the roots of democracy were strong. These people forget this,” said Gehlot. He added it is very easy to say what has been done in 70 years.
Gehlot said two prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed their lives for the nation. “Our leaders made sacrifices and went to jails, and it was because of their sacrifices and struggle, the country got independence,” Gehlot said.
BJP leader Mukesh Pareek responded to Gehlot’s comments saying the BJP believes in democracy and the Constitution of India, and the central government is working accordingly. “Unfortunately, it is the Congress which has failed in working as an effective Opposition.”
Gehlot announced the state government will start the Rajiv Gandhi Innovation Awards for younger people with achievements in the field of start-ups. “ ₹2 crore will be given as a first prize, ₹1 crore as second prize, and ₹50 lakh as third prize.” Gehlot also announced the Rajiv Gandhi Scholarship for Academic Excellence for 200 meritorious students of the state to study at educational institutions in the country and abroad. He said about ₹100 crore will be spent every year on this scheme.
Congress leader Sam Pitroda, who addressed the virtual event titled “Rajasthan Innovation Vision-IT for Good Governance”, said it is mainly because of Rajiv Gandhi that India is in a leadership position globally. “His idea was to improve the health system, education, justice, financial system through e-governance. It really improved productivity while using modern technology and tools.” Pitroda said there is still a long way to go. “I am concerned that institutions are being captured. Civil society has very little role to play and scientific temperament is not encouraged.”