Gehlot attacks BJP for weakening anti-defection law


Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday said that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had brought in the anti-defection law to stop public representatives from moving from one party to another, but the present ruling party has been trying to nullify the law by making them resign to switch parties.

The practice has been witnessed in many states, leading to change in elected governments, he said in a virtual programme organised on Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary.

The present government sitting at the Centre cannot face criticism and those criticising the government are being called traitors, he added.

Praising Rajiv Gandhi for introducing a “golden era” for the nation, Gehlot said that had he been there still, the history of the nation would have been different. The present government has been changing the facts and twisting the history, he added.

“Rajiv Gandhi was a visionary leader with a progressive and modern outlook who ushered in the IT revolution in the country, gave the right to vote at 18 years.

“His decision of giving voting rights for the youth of 18 was opposed by ministers within the party at that time, who said that it can have negative effects. However, Rajiv Gandhi wanted to give participation rights for the youth in democracy, so he bypassed the protest and made a law to give voting rights to the youth of 18 years,” he said.

The programme was also addressed by state Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasara and others.