The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday strongly condemned the income tax raids on media outlets, stating that the Narendra Modi-led central government was making every effort to stifle the voice of the people. In a joint statement issued from the party headquarters here on Friday, AAP MLAs Prof Baljinder Kaur, Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, Principal Budhram, Jai Kishan Singh Rodi, Rupinder Kaur Ruby, Manjit Singh Bilaspur, Kulwant Singh Pandori, Master Baldev Singh, Jagtar Singh Hissowal and Amarjit Singh Sandoa termed the action of the Modi government against the media as ‘vindictive’, thus undermining the principles of democracy.

The leaders said that the media houses – Dainik Bhaskar and the Bharat Samachar Group, were being persecuted for exposing the Modi government’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic. They said that it was a direct attack on the fourth pillar of democracy by the dictatorial Modi government, who were using central agencies to pull down those who dare to raise their voice against them.

MLAs Prof Baljinder Kaur and Meet Hayer said by suppressing the voice of the media, the Modi government had also violated the fundamental right to freedom of speech enshrined in the Constitution of India. “The Modi government cannot tolerate even an iota of criticism. By indulging in such actions and gagging the media, they want to convey the message that anyone who dares to raise its voice against them; will be suppressed,” said the leaders.

Meet Hayer said that while democracy teaches tolerance; PM Modi’s intolerance stance was not only maligning the government but also the image of the country, which is the largest democracy in the world. The AAP leaders said that the BJP government at the centre had crossed all its limits in misusing the central agencies, thus neglecting the existence of the constitution and taking the media under their control. “Shades of Hitler have come to Modi and he is ruling the country in a dictatorial manner,” they added. The leaders said that the Aam Aadmi Party stands shoulder to shoulder with all media outlets working impartially.