New Delhi: Alleging that a government working against the citizens is at the helm, Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal on Saturday announced a new platform ‘Insaaf’ to fight “injustice” prevailing in the country and called on everyone, including Opposition parties’ chief ministers and leaders, to support him in his endeavour.
Sibal said he would hold a public meeting of the new platform at Jantar Mantar on March 11 and will put forward a new vision of India there. He said it was an open invitation for everyone, including opposition leaders and common people, to join him at the event.
“Will give a new vision of India, a positive agenda. Main koi Modi ji ko criticise nahi karne baitha, main unko sudhaar doonga (I am not here to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but will reform him),” he said at a press conference at his residence.
Sibal alleged that injustice is prevailing in every nook and corner of India.
Injustice is being done to citizens, institutions, political Opposition, journalists, teachers, and medium and small businesses, he claimed.
“We have started a website ‘Insaaf ke Sipahi’ where anyone can register. This will be a national-level platform where lawyers will be at the forefront,” the former Congress leader said.
“It is with great deliberation that I have decided that people need to be awakened and asked to become our ‘Insaaf ke Sipahi’ and wherever injustice is happening, they should fight it. I want all Opposition chief ministers and leaders to support me in this endeavour and we start a national movement to free ourselves from this slavery,” Sibal said.
He said efforts will be made to bring Opposition leaders and parties to jointly fight injustice in the country, but asserted that his motives were not political but to fight for constitutional values.
Sibal, who had been a Union minister during the UPA I and II, had quit the Congress in May last year and was elected to Rajya Sabha as an independent with the support of the Samajwadi Party.
The initiative by Sibal, who is considered an important voice of the Opposition, and his talk of bringing parties and leaders together for the “fight against injustice” comes amid a crack in Opposition ranks with the Congress and Trinamool Congress (TMC) trading barbs repeatedly.
“Through you (media) I am requesting everyone to be part of this, and then we will take this forward,” he said.
Responding to a question, Sibal said he wants the Congress also to join the initiative but asserted that this was aimed at being a people’s movement and he was not going to form any political party.
Sibal said common people and lawyers together will fight against injustice through this initiative.
“The RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) shakhas spread their ideology in every locality and that ideology also gives rise to injustice in certain cases. We will fight that injustice also. We want that in every nook and corner of the country ‘insaaf ke sipahi’ stand up and fight,” he said.
The former Union minister also launched a scathing attack on the BJP-led government at the Centre, accusing it of working to finish off political Opposition with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) acting as its “valentine”.
Citing the Preamble of the Constitution, Sibal said though India’s sovereignty will always remain, it was not moving on the path of socialism, democracy was on the decline and there were also questions over the Republic.
The Constitution also promised social, economic and political justice, he pointed out, alleging that there was “injustice” prevailing on all three fronts.
Talking about political injustice, Sibal said the Xth Schedule of the Constitution that deals with the anti-defection law has become a “defector’s paradise”.
“After 2014, they (the BJP) have toppled eight governments be it in Meghalaya, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh or Maharashtra. Tell me if there is any other country where elected governments are toppled through inducements and buying of legislators. Courts, lawyers and people are silent, this is political injustice,” he said.
About 100 people in this country have assets worth Rs 54 lakh crore, Sibal claimed and asked if this was economic justice.
“In 2018, 190 million people were poor and in 2022, the number of poor increased to 350 million,” he said.
“The government valentine is ED. You put it behind anyone and coerce that person. CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) still needs the nod of the state government but not the ED,” the senior advocate pointed out.
“The fact of the matter is that we are in a situation where we see a government versus the citizens. We want a government for citizens not versus citizens,” Sibal asserted.
The ED has acted against 121 people in recent times out of which 115 belong to the Opposition, he said.
Such violence is prevailing in the country and until common people rise to fight it, “we are in for a difficult time”, Sibal said.
“There are some good things about every administration. If I say that everything Modi ji does is wrong, that wouldn’t be right. Digitalisation is right, ‘Awas Yojana’ is right, there are several policies, and we are not against that. But wherever people’s voice is suppressed and wherever injustice is being done, we are against it,” he said.
On the ‘Insaaf’ platform, he asserted that this was not political but about justice, asserting that no one will oppose this including Modi.
Asked about forging Opposition unity through this initiative, Sibal said he will make efforts and take it forward.
“I will ask Opposition parties’ CMs and wherever not in government, their leaders to go to various states such as Maharashtra, Jharkhand Chhattisgarh, to Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh and talk about justice,” Sibal said that he was only acting as a “facilitating factor” for the ‘Insaaf’ initiative.