The opposition party hoped Chief Ministers from other parties will join the protest against the Centre's move which, it alleged, was an "affront" to states as it attacked the federal structure. (Agencies)
It also accused Congress of using "fascist" and "emergency-like" mindset in settling political scores with Modi, BJP's prime ministerial candidate, and of trying to "oppress" him by initiating a probe on an issue which is already under investigation by a state-appointed panel.
"This action legally is a suspect and liable for challenge. I am sure it will be legally challenged in courts. The setting up of this Commission (of Inquiry) violates the federal structure of the Constitution. It is an affront to the States. I hope other Chief Ministers also join in the protest against this action," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.
BJP Spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said, "It is a clear case of political vindictiveness, it is a witch-hunt.... Clearly it is the fascist Congress with its emergency mindset that has taken such a decision. BJP shall meet all the challenges and fight at every platform."
"It is also an attack on the Centre-State relations," she said, adding that "it is politically-motivated and not for justice".
Questioning the rationale behind establishing the inquiry, she said the enthusiasm with which it has been set up clearly shows where the government's priorities lie.
"The setting up of an inquiry into a matter which is entirely a state subject, when an inquiry has already been initiated, the Union government is showing extra-ordinary exuberance.
"It smacks of the Congress party's attitude to use any method to oppress its political opponent. It is a clear case of Congress getting back at Narendra Modi," she said.
Jaitley said, "This action is politically motivated...The setting up of a parallel Commission by the central government ostensibly on the pretext of this issue covering more than one state is without any basis."
He said the Congress has not learnt from the drubbing it got in the recent elections and has continued with its strategy of fighting Narendra Modi "not politically but through investigative agencies and now through a Commission of Inquiry".
Sitharaman said the party had hoped that after the defeat of Congress in the recent Assembly polls, it would have learnt its lessons but it is continuing with its "emergency" and "fascist" mindset.
She claimed Congress was rattled after being repeatedly rejected by the public and is thus now using every method to settle political scores with Modi as it is unable to politically match him.
The opposition party hoped Chief Ministers from other parties will join the protest against the Centre's move which, it alleged, was an "affront" to states as it attacked the federal structure.