Congress, India’s main opposition party, has said it has been crippled ahead of elections starting next month. It accused Modi’s ruling party of freezing its bank accounts.

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By DW Team

India’s Congress party said on Thursday that all of its bank accounts had been frozen as the country gears up for the world’s largest election.

Rahul Gandhi, a former head of the party, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was behind the move and said that it was stifling democracy.

The BJP denied those allegations and said the accounts were partially frozen over a failure to provide tax returns for donations received in 2017-18.

‘No democracy in India today’

The party’s accounts were partially frozen earlier this month in connection with that tax case, but Gandhi said on Thursday that all of the party’s accounts were now frozen.

Being cut off from its finances leaves the party unable to campaign ahead of the six-week-long general election that is set to start on April 19.

“We can’t support our workers, and our candidates and leaders can’t travel by air or train,” the Congress party figure told reporters. “20% of India votes for us and we can’t even pay two rupees for anything. It has been orchestrated to cripple us in the elections.

“This is a criminal action on the Congress party done by the prime minister and the home minister,” he added. “The idea that India is a democracy is a lie. There is no democracy in India today.”

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