Congress Crushed Spirit Of Constitution To Keep Family In Power: Amit Shah

Mr Shah made the remarks on the 49th anniversary of the 1975 Emergency.

Congress Crushed Spirit Of Constitution To Keep Family In Power: Amit Shah

Other BJP leaders have also attacked the Congress over the issue.

New Delhi:

Senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah came out strongly against the Congress on Tuesday for imposing the Emergency in the country and said the opposition party crushed the spirit of the Constitution several times for the sake of "maintaining a certain family in power".

On the 49th anniversary of the 1975 Emergency, Mr Shah also hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, calling him the "yuvraj" of the party and saying it has forgotten that his grandmother Indira Gandhi had imposed the Emergency and his father Rajiv Gandhi said in Parliament on July 23, 1985, that "there is nothing wrong with an emergency".

"The Congress crushed the spirit of our Constitution several times for the sake of maintaining a certain family in power. Indira Gandhi unleashed ruthless atrocities on the people of India during Emergency," Mr Shah wrote on 'X'.

"Mr. Rajiv Gandhi even said, 'If any Prime Minister of this country who feels that an Emergency is necessary, under these circumstances and does not apply the Emergency, he is not fit to be the Prime Minister of this country'. This very act of taking pride in a dictatorial act shows that nothing else is dear to the Congress other than the family and power," he added.

In an earlier post in Hindi, Mr Shah said the "arrogant and autocratic" Congress government had suspended people's civil rights for 21 months for the sake of power to one family.

He said the Emergency is the biggest example of the opposition party's long history of killing democracy and harming it repeatedly.

Censorship was imposed on the media, the Constitution was amended and even the judiciary was restrained, Shah said, paying tributes to those who waged a fight against the Emergency.

His party the BJP also launched a sharp attack on the Congress, with its president JP Nadda saying that those who claim to be the guardians of Indian democracy today had spared no efforts to suppress the voices raised in the defence of constitutional values.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the Emergency, imposed by the then-prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1975 before she lifted it in 1977 and called for elections, is a black chapter in Indian democracy which cannot be forgotten.

Dictatorship and misuse of power were on brazen display during the period, Singh said on 'X', adding that it raises a big question mark on the commitment to democracy of several political parties.

The BJP's trenchant criticism of the Congress came amid a coordinated campaign by opposition parties to paint the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as working against the Constitution.

The Congress and other opposition members carried copies of the Constitution in Parliament on Monday as the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha began. Some Congress members carried copies of the Constitution while taking the oath on Tuesday.

PM Modi on Monday invoked the imposition of the Emergency to target the Congress and called upon the people to ensure that it is never repeated.

Mr Nadda said the Congress' politically driven decision to impose a state of Emergency had shaken the very pillars of democracy as it tried to trample over the Constitution given by B R Ambedkar.

"During this period, those who today claim to be guardians of Indian democracy left no effort to suppress voices raised in defense of constitutional values," he said.

"I am proud that our Party belongs to that tradition which resisted the Emergency tooth and nail and worked to protect democracy," Mr Nadda added. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)