Former cabinet minister Anand Sharma today warned against what he called the misuse of tax and investigation agencies in the country, and warned BJP leaders that they may not always be in power.
He said the BJP government has ‘spoiled the habits’ of agencies like Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax Vigilance and Central Bureau of Investigation, and is using these agencies to go after BJP’s political rivals.
He said the move sets a bad precedent, and could have unintended consequences for BJP leaders and ministers.
Sharma also said ministers in the current administration are used to signing off on orders based on “grand announcements” (see video below).
“Before you put the signature on the file, keep in mind that this administration will not be there always. Things can turn around in a democracy. Therefore, take aim on others only after thinking..
“These agencies are getting used to doing certain things (such as targeting the opposition). You have spoiled their habits. Please fix their habits, bring reforms, and follow the law,” he said.
Sharma was participating in today’s Rajya Sabha debate on amending India’s anti-corruption laws.
The minister’s comments come in the wake of raids by central agencies on politicians belonging to opposition parties such as the Congress and the AIADMK’s Dinakaran Group.
“Are there two sets of laws in this country — one for those who oppose the government and is implemented with a political outlook, and another for your own people, some of who face serious allegations? Many of your leaders and chief ministers are facing serious allegations. There have been no inquiries.
“All the agencies are functional on this side (of the aisle). Why do they become dysfunctional on the other side? Are the agencies like Enforcement Directorate and CBI meant for (prosecuting) political rivals, or are they for catching those criminals who have run away with bank money, who have committed fraud,” he asked.