Telangana: Uttam accuses PM Modi, Amit Shah of ‘smothering’ democracy

"People must understand that if the BJP is re-elected, the very continuation of democracy in India will be under genuine threat," he said.

Hyderabad: Telangana 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.

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He was speaking to media persons after attending review meetings on irrigation, R&B, panchayat raj, housing, and other departments in Huzurnagar on Saturday.

Expressing strong disapproval of the Centre’s recent passage of four controversial bills about election commissioner selection and criminal laws, particularly in the absence of the entire Opposition.

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“The breach of security in Parliament is a highly regrettable and condemnable incident,” he said, adding, “It coincidentally occurred on the same day I resigned from 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 Union home minister Amit Shah on the security breach were suspended, have caused profound sadness.”

He highlighted the unprecedented suspension of 146 opposition MPs from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for simply raising a legitimate demand. “Shockingly, the BJP government exploited the absence of the Opposition to pass four crucial bills,” Uttam Kumar Reddy asserted.

“By passing the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Bill, the BJP has effectively taken absolute control over the selection process,” he said.

The initial members consisted of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India. But the new bill replaces the CJI with a cabinet minister. “By taking complete control over the Election Commissioner’s selection, the Modi government has jeopardized the very foundation of our democracy. How can any election commissioner function with complete impartiality when chosen by the ruling party?” he asked.

Reddy further expressed grave concerns over the passage of three additional criminal law bills that will replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), and Indian Evidence Act with the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, respectively.

“Certain provisions within these new bills are draconian and lay the groundwork for transforming India into a totalitarian police state,” Reddy warned. “Increasing police custody from 15 days to 90 days opens the door for rampant police torture. Additionally, the new criminal code removes crucial safeguards like mandatory medical examinations every 24 hours after arrest to detect potential torture, as well as details of the arresting officer and place/time of arrest in the arrest memo,” he said.

“People must understand that if the BJP is re-elected, the very continuation of democracy in India will be under genuine threat,” he said.

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