The Constitution is under 'severe attack', Rahul Gandhi asserted on Thursday against the backdrop of Karnataka developments, even as he said the judiciary and the press were under 'fear' that usually happens in Pakistan under 'dictatorship' and some African countries ruled by Generals.
At an event in Raipur, the Congress president alleged there was an atmosphere of fear in the country with even the institutions such as the judiciary and the press being suppressed and threatened.
"The Constitution is under severe attack in the country... In Karnataka, the MLAs are on one side and the Governor on the other and you know what attempt is being made," Gandhi said.
"The Janata Dal-Secular leader has said its MLAs were offered Rs 100 crore," the Congress president said, apparently referring to H D Kumaraswamy's sensational allegation.
While the Congress-JD-S combine in Karnataka has been claiming a majority with the support of 117 MLAs, the Bharatiya Janata Party has 104 seats in the assembly, eight short of a majority.
BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa was sworn in as chief minister in Bengaluru this morning after he was invited by the Governor on Wednesday night to form the government.
Addressing a 'Jan Swaraj Sammelan' in Raipur on the occasion of the silver jubilee of 73rd and 74th amendment in the Constitution related to local self-governance, Gandhi also accused the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of capturing every democratic institution in country.
"One after another, you can see every democratic institution in the country, like the MPs, MLAs, the press and the Planning Commission...the RSS is trying to induct its people," the Congress leader said.
All these institutions collectively form the voice of the country and the RSS and the BJP are trying to suppress these voices, he claimed.
Gandhi added that his party had ruled the country for several years but never tried to capture democratic institutions.
"There is fear in the judiciary, there is fear in the press, and even the BJP's members of Parliament are scared as they cannot speak a single word before the prime minister (Narendra Modi)," he said.
In the last 70 years, it was generally seen that people approach the judiciary to seek justice.
"But for the first time it was seen that four judges of the Supreme Court came out to seek public support saying they were not allowed to perform their duties...It was seen for the first time in the country.
"It definitely happens under dictatorship, it happens in Pakistan, it happens in different African countries, (where) a general comes and suppresses court and press, but in India it has happened for the first time in last 70 years." Gandhi, who is on a two-day trip to Chhattisgarh, was apparently referring to the unprecedented press conference by four senior judges of the Supreme Court in January this year to express their grievances against the chief justice of India.
The BJP hit back at Gandhi with its spokesperson Anil Bluni saying the Congress chief and his party have a lot of affection for Pakistan and that is why they keep remembering that country from time to time.
"It is unfortunate that the president of the Congress compares our country with Pakistan. He neither understands the traditions and culture of our country nor will he ever able to," he said.
Gandhi during the course of his speech while targeting the BJP also said, "A murder accused is the president of a national party, which has not been seen in the last 70 years."
Gandhi also alleged that the aim of the RSS and the BJP was to suppress the voice of Dalits, 'adivasis' (tribals) and women and distribute the country's wealth to some selected people.
"When farmers talk about loan waiver, (finance minister) Arun Jaitley says the Centre does not have any policy for it. But in the last one year, Rs 2.5 lakh crore loan of 15 rich people was waived off. He doesn't speak over it because it's in their policy," the Congress chief said.
After addressing the 'Jan Swaraj Sammelan', Gandhi went to Sitapur in Surguja district where he is scheduled to address an adivasi farmers' rally.
He will also visit Kotmi village in Bilaspur district where he will address the 'Jungle Satyagraha Adivasi' rally.
The Congress has been out of power since the last 15 years in Chhattisgarh where the Assembly elections are due later this year.