BJP leader Advani clarifies 'Emergency' comment, says it was directed at Congress, not any individual

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 19, 2015 23:43 IST

BJP veteran LK Advani said on Friday his Emergency remarks were not directed at any individual but at the Congress, which he said should apologise for the events of 1975.

Advani triggered a controversy with a newspaper interview on Thursday where he said forces that could crush democracy were getting stronger and did not rule out the possibility of another Emergency.

The remarks were interpreted in the media as a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In what could create unease in the BJP, Advani said he was always opposed to “one-man shows” and “dictatorships”, and suggested present day leaders be modest like former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Advani said on Thursday he felt a dictatorial trend had emerged in political leadership. “Vajpayee was a tall leader with a successful record but I never heard someone at that time saying Vajpayee is India and India is Vajpayee,” he said.

The seven-time MP clarified on Friday that his remarks were not aimed at any individual but at the Congress.

"I did not mean any individual when I made that statement. I am opposed to all kinds of dictatorships,” Advani told Aaj Tak news channel. He added, "Arrogance breeds authoritarianism. Today's leaders should be modest like Vajpayee.”

"If I am worried about the future of Indian democracy it is because no senior leader of the Congress has come out and expressed remorse about what the party did in 1975," he told India Today news channel.

Earlier in the day, LK Advani cancelled his meeting with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal citing prior engagements as the reason.

Following Advani's interview to the Indian Express, Kejriwal had tweeted, "Advani ji is correct in saying that emergency can't be ruled out. Is Delhi their first experiment?" and sought a meeting with the BJP leader.

Day after 'Emergency' comment, Advani cancels meeting with Kejriwal

Advani's 'Emergency-like-situation could return' comment veiled swipe at PM: Opposition

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