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Cong protest forced Raje govt rethink on gag bill: Sachin Pilot

State Congress president Sachin Pilot said on Tuesday that his party’s struggle to save democratic values had forced the state government to refer the bill, which gives immunity from probe to public servants, to an assembly select committee.

jaipur Updated: Oct 24, 2017 20:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Gag bill,Raje govt
Rajasthan Congress president said the BJP government wanted to make the bill into a law to encroach on rights of the media, judiciary and the public.(HT Photo)

State Congress president Sachin Pilot said on Tuesday that his party’s struggle to save democratic values had forced the state government to refer the bill, which gives immunity from probe to public servants, to an assembly select committee.

The Rajasthan Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill 2017 bars courts from taking up complaints against ministers, judges and officials without prior government sanction. It also bars the media from disclosing the identity of the accused without approval.

He said the BJP government wanted to make the bill into a law to encroach on rights of the media, judiciary and the public. “Congress will not let the BJP government succeed in its intention to shield the corrupt,” Pilot said in a statement.

“We will continue to make efforts to ensure that the bill is withdrawn so that the constitution and democratic values of the country are upheld,” he said, adding the bill was referred to a select committee under pressure from the Congress and other democratic forces.

Assembly select committees usually have members from the government and opposition.

“There is also anger within the BJP about this kala kanoon (black law). But the BJP government is not ready to listen even to its own people,” Pilot said.

“The BJP government came to power on the promise to end corruption. But now it is making efforts to give legal protection to corrupt officials and insulting the mandate.”

Pilot alleged that the BJP government has neglected all sections of society and has not fulfilled poll promises.

The BJP promised to provide 15 lakh jobs but unemployment has increased, law and order situation has deteriorated and the state is lag behind in development of basic infrastructure, he said.

Despite having a woman chief minister, cases of atrocities against women have increased in the state, Pilot said after holding a meeting with senior leaders of Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha constituencies and Mandalgarh assembly seat, where by-elections will be held.

State party in-charge Avinash Pande, who chaired the meeting, directed party leaders and workers to expose four years of the BJP government.

Emphasising booth management, Pilot and Pande asked workers to work in coordination to win the seats.

Addressing newspersons, Pande said the party would soon come out with a programme at state, district and block levels to intensify agitation for complete waiver of farmers’ loans.

He said the Congress would face the elections under leadership of AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi. “CM face will be decided after the elections and in discussions with the MLAs.”

First Published: Oct 24, 2017 20:24 IST