Modi targets Cong, Nehru-Gandhi family over Emergency

Modi targets Cong, Nehru-Gandhi family over Emergency

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo via Twitter.

Mounting a full-scale attack on the Congress and Nehru-Gandhi family, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the principal Opposition party of reducing the country to a jail during the "dark period" of Emergency.

"For selfish interests, the Congress turned the country into a jail (during the 21-month period of Emergency from 1975 to 1977) by imprisoning Opposition leaders. For them, the country and democracy have no value. Instead of (former prime minister Indira Gandhi) quitting after the court verdict, Emergency was imposed. How can these people talk about safeguarding the Constitution?" Modi asked.

Modi, while addressing a meeting organised by the BJP to mark the 43rd anniversary of Emergency, said: "The day needs to be observed to re-dedicate oneself to the protection of the Constitution and democracy."

Describing Emergency as the "black spot" in the "golden history" of India, he said that observing the day is not to criticise the Congress. "It is about creating an awareness for the protection of Constitution and democracy," Modi said to a thunderous applause.

"India remembers it as a dark period when every institution was subverted and an atmosphere of fear was created. Not only people but also ideas and artistic freedom were held hostage to power politics. The youth have no idea what happened then and they cannot imagine how living without freedom can be,” Modi said.

Speaking on Emergency further and how the government machinery was used, he said: "When Kishore Kumar ji refused to sing for them (Congress), his songs were not allowed to be played on the radio (AIR)."

Without naming the Nehru-Gandhi family, Modi accused them of breaking the Indian National Congress - built by the efforts of Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders. "In their lust for power it subverted all democratic institutions, including the Constitution, Parliament, the elections, the judiciary and the media," he said.

Modi accused the Congress of trying to scare the highest echelons of the judiciary by bringing in an impeachment motion. "During Emergency, judges were abruptly transferred… and their arrogant mentality remains unchanged even today,” Modi said.

The Congress is "spreading illusionary fear" about the Constitution, Dalits and minorities facing danger, Modi alleged.

“In the past, all parties had respected the Election Commission, barring one (Congress), which has now been reduced from 400 to 44 (seats in Lok Sabha). So now they target the EC, they attack the EVMs," he said.

Modi also added that the Congress did not question the EVMs after the Karnataka results.