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Congress, Gandhis ‘mentality’ hasn’t changed since Emergency: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi blasts the Congress and Gandhi family, accuses them of subverting democracy.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2018 23:12 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Emergency,Narendra Modi,Constitution
Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks at an event organised by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Birla Matoshri auditorium on Tuesday in Mumbai in India, on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

Drawing parallels between the “dark days” of the Emergency ,when democratic institutions, including the judiciary, were “devalued” and the Congress’ recent move to push an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the mentality of the party had remained unaltered over the years.

Modi was speaking at an event organised by the Mumbai unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the city on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the Emergency, to express gratitude for those who fought against it.

He led a frontal attack on the main Opposition party and the Gandhi family, without naming them.

“Who would have thought then that for lust for power and servility to one family, those who spoke so highly of the Constitution would convert the country into a jail house, put all political leaders behind bars and create an atmosphere of absolute fear?

“And, all this was done within the ambit of the Constitution. There is perhaps no other example of how a Constitution can be misused and turned to serve the needs of only one family,’’ Modi said.

Very few would remember the Emergency days in detail now, the Prime Minister said, remarking on the extent to which the judiciary was “fearful” and “devalued” for the sake of one family.

Without naming the National Herald case, Modi said that the same people had who devalued the judiciary had never thought that one day corruption charges could be framed against them in a court and they would have to seek bail.

“That hurt is niggling them. So what’s the solution ? Scare the topmost judiciary through impeachment in such a way that judges lower down in the hierarchy cannot even look up. That’s why the impeachment motion was moved through the Parliament. The mentality during the days of Emergency and that of the current Congress in its attempt to impeach the judiciary is the same,’’ he said.

Modi pointed out that in India, whenever the Congress, and especially the “family”, have felt worried about losing their power, they have started saying that the country is in danger, that there is an atmosphere of fear and only they can be its saviours.

The BJP is observing the 43rd anniversary of Emergency as Black Day.

Meanwhile, in the third part of his series of blog posts on the Emergency, senior BJP leaders and union minister Arun Jaitley took a dig at the possible coalition of the socialists with the Congress, pointing out how their ideologies were at variance during the Emergency.

He also questioned the role played by the communist parties during the struggle against Emergency, which was imposed on June 25, 43 years ago.

Jaitley said while the Communist Party of India (CPI) was an “unashamed supporter” of the Emergency, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was “theoretically” opposed to it but did not play an “active role” in opposing the rule.

Targeting a possible alliance between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress to fight the BJP in the upcoming 2019 general elections, he said that though SP leader Mulayam Singh has inherited the political legacy of Ram Manohar Lohia, the creator of the slogan ‘Congress Hatao Desh Bachao’ (remove the Congress and save the nation) in the 1960s, he has not retained the socialist leader’s anti-Congress stance.

Jaitely also said the most disturbing observation of the Emergency was, when the central government turned dictatorial, the entire system caved in.

Reacting to Jaitley’s comments, D Raja said, the CPI initially supported the Emergency, “but when the party realised the excesses of Sanjay Gandhi, we condemned it and launched massive protests against it”.

“Bhupen Gupta was the first to call Sanjay Gandhi an extra constitutional authority,” the leader said.

CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat said: “Arun Jaitley is blinkered in his vision. He is trying to change history which is 30 years old. He has deliberately forgotten how CPI(M) vehemently opposed Emergency and its leaders were the first to get arrested. On the other hand, the RSS leaders sought mercy to come out of the jail.”

First Published: Jun 26, 2018 12:42 IST