Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday (July 11) attacked the BJP-ruled government over the situation in Karnataka and Goa, saying they have “gravely damaged” democracy and that the developments will hurt the economy.
The developments in Karnataka and Goa may help the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in “advancing their political goals”, but “at the same time they are doing a great disservice to the economic goals of this country”, the former finance minister said while participating in the debate on the Union Budget in Rajya Sabha.
“What we have seen in Karnataka, what we have seen in Goa may appear to be political one-upmanship, but I think it has a very damaging affect on the economy, foreign investors, rating agencies,” he said. “In the last two days, they have gravely damaged democracy. More such incidents will completely damage the democratic framework of this country,” he said.
The JDS-Congress government in Karnataka is in crisis following a spate of resignations of MLAs from the ruling side. Also, 10 of the 15 MLAs of the Congress party in Goa legislative assembly have split and joined the BJP, which is currently ruling the state.
At the outset of his nearly 30-minute speech, Chidambaram said, “I am very unhappy democracy is suffering a blow everyday”. The veteran Congress leader said that international organisations do not watch “tamed” Indian television channels and asked the BJP to “respect democracy”.
“I condemn what is happening in Karnataka and Goa not because it is a political event alone, but because it has a very damaging impact on the economy,” he said. Earlier, another senior Congress leader Anand Sharma raised the issue of Karnataka and Goa, saying whatever was happening in the state was an “assault on democracy”.
He charged that BJP was behind the developments in the two states. Countering Sharma, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar quipped, “How can the BJP be responsible if the Congress does not a have its president?”
Congress members staged a walkout from the House over the developments in Karnataka and Goa. However, after some time they returned to the House to take part in the Budget discussion.