Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday termed the arrest of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in a suicide abetment case as an attempt to "crush" democracy and "muzzle" press freedom.
Goswami was arrested from his Mumbai residence in the morning by Maharashtra's Raigad district police in the 2018 case related to suicide by a 53-year-old interior designer over alleged non-payment of dues by Republic TV.
Chouhan strongly condemned the police action and described it as "barbaric".
The Maharashtra government has committed the sin of muzzling freedom of expression by taking barbaric action against the country's eminent journalist Arnab Goswami.
"I strongly condemn this move of the Congress and Maharashtra government to crush democracy and muzzle freedom of expression, Chouhan said in a tweet.
Accusing the Congress of being behind the arrest, Chouhan said, Maharashtra has a situation which is worse than what prevailed during Emergency. The Congress has ruined democratic traditions earlier too.
The BJP chief minister said the Congress "crushed" journalists and journalism during the Emergency (1975-77) and this fact was not hidden from anyone.
The Congress is a constituent in the Shiv Sena-led MVA government in Maharashtra.
At the behest of the Congress, the Maharashtra government has created an Emergency-like situation again," Chouhan said.
Meanwhile, state BJP president VD Sharma and the party's Lok Sabha MP from Bhopal, Pragya Singh Thakur, led a torch rally here in the evening to denounce Goswamis arrest.
A regime which has crushed freedom of expression has no right to stay in power. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray should resign, Sharma said.