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Congress still driven by mindset that imposed Emergency: PM Modi

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi escalated his attack on Congress over the imposition of Emergency by former PM Indira Gandhi and said the opposition party was still driven by the same mindset that responded to dissent by suspending democracy 49 years ago.

In a series of posts on social media to mark the 49th anniversary of Indira Gandhi's momentous decision, Modi took a took a swipe at Congress's "save democracy" campaign and said, "Those who imposed 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."

The PM said, "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 paid homage to all those "great men and women" who resisted Emergency, and said the "dark days" are a reminder of how Congress subverted basic freedoms and trampled over the Constitution. "Just to cling to power, the then Congress govt disregarded every democratic principle and made the nation into a jail," he said.

While BJP functionaries followed Modi in recalling the days of Emergency, the party floated #DarkDaysOfEmergency on X, in what appeared to be an attempt to get their own back at Congress which used its allegation of Constitution being in danger under Modi to inflict damage on BJP.

Home minister Amit Shah said Congress crushed the spirit of Constitution several times for the sake of maintaining a certain family in power and Indira Gandhi unleashed "ruthless atrocities" on people during Emergency.

Referring to Rahul Gandhi as "yuvraj", he said the former had forgotten that his grandmother imposed Emergency and his father, Rajiv Gandhi, on July 23, 1985, tried to justify this horrific episode in the Lok Sabha with much pride.

He mentioned a speech by Rajiv Gandhi where the former PM had said, "If any prime minister of this country who feels that an Emergency is necessary, under these circumstances, and does not apply Emergency, he is not fit to be PM of this country."

Defence minister Rajnath Singh said if democracy was still alive in the country, the credit went to those people who struggled to restore democracy, went to jail and had to undergo physical and mental torture. "The coming generations of India will remember their struggle and their contribution in protecting democracy," he added.

BJP president J P Nadda reminded Congress of the "dark days of Emergency" as he slammed the opposition for fielding K Suresh in the election for Lok Sabha speaker. He accused Congress of "hypocrisy and doublespeak" and said there was no space for democracy in the "mindset" of the main opposition party.
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