Oppn approaches Prez, alleges voices of dissent being muzzled

NEW DELHI
12 Apr 2017

Major opposition parties today met President Pranab Mukherjee and put forth their concern over recent incidents of violence, including attacks by cow vigilantes, and efforts to "muzzle voices of dissent".

A delegation of leaders of various political parties, led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, called on the President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and sought his urgent intervention "to ensure the rule of law" in the country. They presented a memorandum to him listing their various concerns and urged the President to ensure that constitutional democracy and fundamental rights of citizens are protected. After the delegation met the President, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said "an environment of fear and insecurity is prevailing in the country and voices of dissent are being muzzled".

"We have requested the President for his urgent intervention to protect India's constitutional democracy and safeguard the fundamental rights of citizens to ensure the rule of law in this country," he told reporters. The delegation also raised issues of alleged EVM tampering during their meeting. Meanwhile, the Union government today sought to see the move by Opposition parties as an attempt to launch a disinformation campaign.

Referring to the Opposition petition to the President today, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that after its defeat in polls, the Opposition parties have started a disinformation campaign against the government. He said the obstructionist attitude of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha based on its numerical superiority has led to the disillusionment of the people towards the upper house.