A feud over a former minister’s political views is reshaking Indian politics, as the Bharatiya Janata Party tries to rally around its leader, Narendra Modi.
The latest development is the arrest of former minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi on a charge of corruption.
He is being tried on a criminal complaint lodged by the CBI in New York.
Ahead of the election in 2019, the Congress had accused Mr Javadek of corruption and seeking votes from the opposition.
In a statement, it accused the BJP of being anti-development and anti-people.
The BJP and its allies have blamed the Congress for seeking votes and the Congress is the ruling party.
The Congress has been accused of being “anti-poor”, a reference to a term used by the opposition to describe the economic policies of the BJP, and for being anti PM Narendra Modi’s policies.
The Congress, which was the first opposition party to oppose the BJP in the 2014 general elections, was swept to power in a landslide by Mr Modi in the 2019 general elections.
The BJP, meanwhile, has dominated the political scene since then.
Mr Javacekar is one of Mr Modi’s top aides and his supporters have been vocal in criticising the Congress.
But the BJP and Mr Javagekar have disagreed over Mr Javades views on various issues, including the economy and foreign policy.
Mr Javadeker has questioned whether the Indian economy is in good shape, and accused the Congress of taking a wrong approach to foreign policy and the economy.
“What the Congress does is taking a different approach from us.
We have always been on the side of India, for the people of India and for the economy,” he said in an interview with NDTV.”
I have never questioned the people’s rights, or even questioned the economic problems of our country.
I have always believed that our country has a good future,” he added.”
The Indian economy, like all Indian economies, is in the process of recovering, and we are also going to be a very strong country.
But I have never doubted the people.”
As a businessman, I am not an economist.
But there is no question of a bad economy.
If the economy is good, why do you need an economic programme that is not based on facts?
“Mr Javagek, who is from Gujarat, was the finance minister in the BJP-led government for two terms between 2006 and 2014.
He was appointed the minister of state for corporate affairs in January 2019, and the finance ministry in January 2020.
Mr Modi’s government had promised to increase the minimum wage from the current Rs 5.10 to Rs 6.20 a day by 2022, increase the tax on diesel and reduce the marginal rate on small- and medium-sized companies from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.
In an interview on NDTV last month, Mr Javasek said that his government had “turned a blind eye to the poor and exploited the rich”.
Mr Javades comments come days after the BJP came to power after winning a landslide victory in the 2017 general elections for the first time in three decades.