Independent institutions in India being vitiated under ‘electoral autocracy’: Shashi Tharoor | India News – Times of India

Independent institutions in India being vitiated under 'electoral autocracy': Shashi Tharoor | India News - Times of India

JAIPUR: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre on Sunday, accusing it of misusing central agencies to target political opponents.
Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Tharoor expressed concern about the state of central agencies and independent institutions in the country under what he termed as “electoral autocracy.”
“The respected V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) institute in Sweden decided to call us not a democracy anymore, but an “electoral autocracy” that is that we elect our leaders but then they behave as autocrats,” Tharoor said.
He further said, “The institutions are those that give body and strength to our democracy, whether it’s parliament, whether it’s an independent election commission, whether it’s the information commission or the Reserve Bank of India. All of these institutions have found their independence vitiated.”
“Let the ED, income tax department, and CBI do their job, but how come all of their targets are in opposition? How is this possible that there are no other criminals anywhere but only in opposition? Till now, nobody has given any satisfactory answer to these questions,” the Congress leader said.
Highlighting that the ruling government is misusing central agencies for political benefits, Tharoor said, “Now we are seeing the government being quite shameless in misusing even those institutions that were meant to be independent like the ED, CBI, and law enforcement bodies, which were meant to chase wrongdoers. They are now being unleashed selectively only on those whom the BJP deems to be its political opponent.”
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s claim comes on the backdrop of the recent arrest of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in a money laundering case.
While responding to a question on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Tharoor said that the public must not vote solely based on the construction of a temple but should focus on other development factors.
“We will ask the public to think about themselves. They should think about how their life has improved because of the (present) government. Have they got employment? One should not vote only keeping in mind the temple (Ram Temple). If they have got any benefit from the government, they can go and vote,” Tharoor told ANI.

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