Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took a swipe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, saying that some people in Delhi were trying to “teach him democracy”. He made the remarks while launching the Ayushman Bharat health insurance coverage scheme for Jammu and Kashmir.
“There are people in Delhi who always taunt and insult me,” Modi said, according to NDTV. “They want to teach me lessons in democracy. I want to show them Jammu and Kashmir DDC [District Development Council] polls as an example of democracy.”
On Thursday, Gandhi had said that there was “no democracy” in India, after a delegation of Congress leaders were prevented by the police to march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and hand over a memorandum seeking repeal of the three new farm laws. The former Congress chief took on the government, and said those who spoke against Modi were labelled terrorists, anti-nationals or criminals.
In his Saturday’s speech, the prime minister criticised the Congress for not holding civic body elections in Puducherry. “Some political forces keep lecturing on democracy but see their duplicity and shallowness,” Modi said. “The party that rules in Puducherry hasn’t conducted local body elections despite [the] Supreme Court’s order, whereas J&K held Panchayat level polls within one year after becoming a UT [Union Territory].”
Modi added: “Puducherry held local body elections in 2006. The tenure of elected representatives ended in 2011, but the Congress government there have kept deferring the elections since. This shows their utter disregard and contempt for democracy.”
‘Officials interfering with DDC election results’: Omar Abdullah
Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah alleged that there were attempts to influence the results of the DDC elections, NDTV reported. “Some officials are interfering in the democratic process of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. “They are trying to influence the DDC poll results in favour of non-Gupkar candidates.”
The Farooq Abdullah-led People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration on Wednesday swept the elections by winning 110 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single-largest party, with 75 seats.
“Our alliance has won plurality of seats in the DDC elections,” Abdullah said. “We have not lost the polls. Why doesn’t the BJP and Apni Party understand this?”
Both the BJP and the People’s Alliance were upbeat about the election results, terming it as a success.