PM Leads BJP's Emergency Offensive To Counter INDIA Constitution Narrative

In an address to media at the beginning of the new session, PM Narendra Modi said June 25 marks 50 years of a black spot on Indian democracy.

BJP leaders today put out social media posts on the 50th anniversary of Emergency

New Delhi:

To counter the Opposition's Constitution narrative during the first Parliament session after the Lok Sabha elections began, BJP leaders led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi put out social media posts to mark the 50th anniversary of the Emergency imposed by the Indira Gandhi-led Congress government on June 25, 1975.

"Today is a day to pay homage to all those great men and women who resisted the Emergency. The #DarkDaysOfEmergency remind us of how the Congress Party subverted basic freedoms and trampled over the Constitution of India which every Indian respects greatly," the Prime Minister tweeted this morning.

"Just to cling on to power, the then Congress Government disregarded every democratic principle and made the nation into a jail. Any person who disagreed with the Congress was tortured and harassed. Socially regressive policies were unleashed to target the weakest sections.

"Those who imposed the Emergency have no right to profess their love for our Constitution. These are the same people who have imposed Article 356 on innumerable occasions, got a Bill to destroy press freedom, destroyed federalism and violated every aspect of the Constitution," he said.

In a scathing attack on the Congress, the Prime Minister said that the "mindset which led to the imposition of the Emergency is very much alive among the same Party which imposed it". "They hide their disdain for the Constitution through their tokenism, but the people of India have seen through their antics and that is why they have rejected them time and again," he said.

The tone for the united offensive was set by the Prime Minister yesterday. In an address to media at the beginning of the new session, he said June 25 marks 50 years of a black spot on Indian democracy. "The new generation will not forget how the Indian Constitution was scrapped, the country turned into a jail and democracy captured. In this 50th anniversary, the country will take a pledge that never again will it happen," he said yesterday.

The Prime Minister's remarks drew a sharp response from Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. Mr Kharge said the Prime Minister is talking about the 50-year-old Emergency, but has forgotten the "undeclared Emergency in the last 10 years".

The Opposition, which made 'protecting the Constitution' a key plank in this general election, put up a show of strength at the Parliament yesterday during MPs of the INDIA bloc held up copies of the Constitution.

Speaking to the media, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, "We will not allow the attack on the Constitution that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are doing. This attack is not acceptable to us."

Hitting out at the Congress today, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted that it has a history of "murdering democracy". "The Emergency imposed in 1975 is its biggest example." The Congress, he said, suspended citizens' all rights for 21 months to stay in power. "They imposed censorship on the media, changed the Constitution and tied the hands of the court," he said, lauding the struggle of people from all walks of life who protested against the Emergency.

The Emergency is an unforgettable dark chapter of our democracy, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. "If democracy has survived in this country, the credit goes to those who fought for it, went to jail and suffered physical and mental agony," he said.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari paid his respects to those "who opposed the dictatorial Emergency and re-established democracy".

The Congress's "politically driven decision to impose a state of Emergency shook the very pillars of our democracy and tried to trample over the Constitution", said Health Minister JP Nadda.

"During this period, those who today claim to be guardians of Indian democracy left no effort to suppress voices raised in defence of constitutional values," he added, taking a swipe at the main Opposition party.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman quoted a news report to flag the excesses during Emergency such as forced mass sterilisation, press censorship and suspension of constitutional rights.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar recalled "the dark period for Indian democracy and the courage shown by those who resisted that challenge". "The collective response of the nation defined our generation. It will remain a constant reminder of the need to keep working to protect, preserve and fight for our democracy," he said.