Uttam Accuses PM Modi, Amit Shah of Smothering Democracy

Hyderabad: Irrigation and civil supplies minister N. Uttam Kumar Reddy launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, accusing them of "smothering democracy" in India.

He was speaking to media persons after attending review meetings on Irrigation, R&B, panchayat raj, housing and other departments in Huzurnagar on Saturday. He expressed strong disapproval of the BJP government's recent passage of controversial bills pertaining to the selection of the Election Commissioners and amended criminal laws, particularly in the absence of the entire opposition.

"The breach of security in Parliament is a highly regrettable and condemnable incident," Uttam Kumar Reddy stated. He said he was in Parliament, waiting to resign from the Lok Sabha.

"While I was waiting at the Speaker's chamber, this unfortunate event unfolded. However, subsequent developments, where almost all opposition MPs demanding a statement from Amit Shah on the security breach were suspended, have caused profound sadness."

He highlighted the unprecedented suspension of 146 Opposition MPs for raising a legitimate demand. "Shockingly, the BJP government exploited the absence of the opposition to pass four crucial bills," Uttam Kumar Reddy said. "By passing the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Bill, the BJP has effectively taken absolute control over the selection process."

The minister said that though the Supreme Court had recommended a selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India, the BJP-led government had replaced the CJI with a Cabinet minister.

"By taking complete control over the Election Commissioner's selection, the Modi government has jeopardised the very foundation of our democracy. How can any election commissioner function with complete impartiality when chosen by the ruling party? This controversial bill not only endangers the election system but also poses a significant threat to Indian democracy itself."

Earlier in the day, Uttam Kumar Reddy, along with revenue and housing minister Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy reviewed the under construction 2,000 flats for weaker sections housing colony in Huzurnagar.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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