Was Nehru dictator or democrat, BJP asks Cong

Ruling party rattles out figures on ordinance to deflect charges

Was Nehru dictator or democrat, BJP asks Cong

On a day Congress began their agitation against land acquisition ordinance, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dug out past figures to counter their charge that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was running the government through “ordinance raj”.

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday rattled out figures of ordinances previous Congress prime ministers have brought since Jawaharlal Nehru to deflect charges that Narendra Modi was acting in a dictatorial fashion.

From Nehru to Manmohan Singh, Naidu said the Congress governments had issued 438 ordinances, with the maximum (195) coming during Indira Gandhi’s tenure despite the fact that her party had overwhelming presence in the Parliament.

“I have a few questions for Congress party and others who are criticising us to answer. During Nehru era, 70 ordinances were issued even as his government enjoyed full backing of Parliament. Sonia Gandhi should clarify if Nehru was a dictator or a democrat?” Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Naidu said.

He said that Nehru opposed ordinances during Independence movement while  pleading for a constitutional provision for issuance of ordinances in the debates of the Constituent Assembly.
 
“More remarkably, Indira Gandhi, during 1971-77, got issued a record 99 ordinances at a strike rate of 2 ordinances for every 3 months. Sonia Gandhi should now explain if her mother-in-law was dictator or democrat,” he charged. The Modi government issued nine ordinances in seven months.

According to the Union minister, UPA prime minister Manmohan Singh brought 61 ordinances, his predecessor Rajiv Gandhi got 35 and Narasimha Rao 77. 

Naidu, who is also a former BJP president, took a potshot at the Left and other opposition parties for criticising Modi for ignoring Parliament to frame legislations. Seeking clarification from Left and other political parties, Naidu said the CPM was a constituent of United Front which ruled the country during 1996-98.

During this period, as many as 77 ordinances were issued with a record strike rate of 3 per month.  “The CPM, the CPI and the predecessors of SP, RJD, JD(U) among others  should explain if they were dictatorial,” he said.

Naidu said they were forced to bring ordinances due to opposition stalling parliament functioning. He appealed to all parties to help in economic recovery and nation building through constructive cooperation in the coming budget session.
DH News Service

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