One family's desire for power cost nation: Modi

One family's desire for power cost nation: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI file photo

Reviving the attack on the Congress over dynastic politics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said, "One family's desire for power cost the nation so greatly."

He recalled the late Indira Gandhi calling for a “committed judiciary” to blunt the Congress' charges that his government is undermining institutions.

The Congress' Kapil Sibal hit back saying that the biggest example of dynastic politics is the RSS family, the parivaar to which all BJP leaders owe allegiance to.

Accusing Modi of making “false promises and false statements”, Sibal earlier described the prime minister as “the Lie Lama”.

On Wednesday, Modi in a big blog alleged that the Congress’ contempt for the courts is anyway legendary.

“It was Mrs Indira Gandhi who called for a 'committed judiciary', which seeks to make the courts more loyal to a family than to the Constitution. In a telling comment, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi called the Planning Commission led by Dr Manmohan Singh a bunch of jokers," he wrote.

Modi also recalled that the NAC (National Advisory Council headed by Sonia Gandhi during the UPA regime) was created as a body parallel to the prime minister’s office.

“And then, the Congress talks about institutions,” Modi wondered and alleged that during the Congress rule, the CBI became the "Congress Bureau of Investigation"— it was used time and again on political parties just before crucial parliamentary votes.

Hitting out at the main Opposition party for allowing members from one family to continue at the helm for most of the period after independence, the prime minister said that while political parties are vibrant bodies that manifest diverse public opinion, “sadly, the Congress does not believe in internal democracy. If a leader dares to dream to head that party, he or she is shunted out of the Congress.”

Modi said that the mandate of 2014 in which the BJP got a single party majority, first political party to do so in last 30 years, was “epoch-making” also because it was “for the first time in the history of India that a non-dynastic party was blessed with a complete majority”.

In the backdrop of the Congress leadership having repeatedly been telling the media as how the freedom of the press is under duress under the Modi regime, the prime minister flagged that “dynastic parties” have never been comfortable with a free and vibrant press.

“No wonder, the very first Constitutional Amendment brought in by the Congress government sought to curtail free speech. Speaking truth to power, which is the hallmark of a free press was seen as vulgar and indecent. The recent UPA years saw the bringing of a law that could land you in prison for posting anything offensive. A tweet against the son of a powerful UPA minister could land innocent citizens in jail,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister also drew focus on the recent arrest of some BJP supporting techies in Karnataka.

“Just a few days ago, the nation watched with horror when a few youngsters were arrested for expressing their true feelings at a programme in Karnataka, where the Congress is sharing power.”

Congress president Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi have repeatedly targeted the Modi government of undermining institutions.

Seeking to turn the tables, Modi sarcastically said, “from the press to parliament, from soldiers to free speech, from the constitution to the court's institutional insult is the Congress way. Everyone is wrong, only Congress is correct.”

He also asked the electorates “as you go to vote— remember the past and how one family's desire for power cost the nation so greatly. If they could do it then, they can surely do it now. Eternal vigilance remains the price of liberty. Let us stay vigilant and work hard to strengthen the intuitions given to us by the makers of our Constitution.”

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who heads the BJP committee for publicity for Lok Sabha polls, shared Modi's blog, tweeting, “the biggest casualty of dynastic politics in India has been our institutions and the people of India have been the sufferers. This cannot continue now.”