Hours after the Earnings Tax Division performed searches on the premises of the Dainik Bhaskar Group, the Opposition hit out on the authorities Thursday, calling it a “brazen try” to “scare the media” and “suppress the voice of fact”, and a “brutal try and stifle democracy”.
Countering the allegations, Data and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur mentioned there is no such thing as a interference within the functioning of presidency businesses.
“Businesses are doing their work. We aren’t interfering in that. Secondly, I wish to say that full data ought to be taken. Many instances due to lack of awareness, many points come up that are removed from the reality,” Thakur informed reporters.
Not less than three Opposition Chief Ministers criticised the federal government over the I-T searches.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, in Twitter posts, described the I-T searches as an “assault on journalists and media homes” and “one other brutal try and stifle democracy”.
She mentioned Dainik Bhaskar “bravely reported” the way in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi “mishandled the complete Covid disaster and led the nation to its most horrifying days amid a raging pandemic”. Condemning “this vindictive act that goals to suppress voices that deliver out the reality”, she urged the media to “keep robust”.
Her Rajasthan counterpart Ashok Gehlot was additionally scathing in his criticism, calling the I-T searches “a brazen try and suppress the voice of media”.
He mentioned the Modi authorities “can’t tolerate even an iota of criticism”.
“By indulging in such actions and gagging media, the Modi authorities desires to convey the message that if the media doesn’t turn out to be Godi-Media then its voice can be suppressed,” Gehlot mentioned.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal mentioned the searches have been an try and “scare the media”.
“Their message is evident – those that communicate in opposition to the BJP authorities is not going to be spared. Such a mindset may be very harmful. Everyone ought to increase their voice in opposition to this,” he mentioned.
Addressing a press convention, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi mentioned the searches spotlight “the harmful, dismissive, and draconian nature of the BJP authorities”.
“They’ve been utilizing businesses to coerce free speech together with substantial segments of the press. They’ve inaugurated a fascist period of concern,” he mentioned.
Congress chief and Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh mentioned: “By its reporting, Dainik Bhaskar has uncovered the Modi regime’s monumental mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s now paying the worth. An Undeclared Emergency as Arun Shourie has mentioned — this can be a Modified Emergency.”
CPM normal secretary Sitaram Yechury mentioned: “The Modi authorities’s raid raj received’t work. It’s attempting to scare and muzzle the reality from surfacing. However just like the useless our bodies floating within the Ganga, the Modi authorities can’t disguise. The misuse of Central businesses for intimidation is condemnable.”