NEW DELHI: In a pushback to the opposition INDIA bloc’s bid to corner it on the issue of the Consitution, BJP on Tuesday launched a massive campaign on the 49th anniversary of the Emergency imposed by ex-Prime Minister and Congress leader Indira Gandhi in 1975.
Blunting the Congress’s attack on the BJP on the issue of the Consitution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Those who imposed the Emergency have no right to profess their love for our Constitution“.
Reacalling the days of Emergency, PM Modi launched a fierce broadside at the Congress and said the grand old party turned the country into “jail” and any person who disagreed with the then Congress government was “tortured and harassed”.
“Today is a day to pay homage to all those great men and women who resisted the Emergency. The #DarkDaysOfEmergency remind us of how the Congress Party subverted basic freedoms and trampled over the Constitution of India which every Indian respects greatly,” PM wrote on X.
“Just to cling on to power, the then Congress Government disregarded every democratic principle and made the nation into a jail. Any person who disagreed with the Congress was tortured and harassed. Socially regressive policies were unleashed to target the weakest sections” he added.
Hitting back at the Congress over the “dictatorship” and “authoritarian” charges, PM Modi said, “These are the same people who imposed Article 356 (President’s rule) on innumerable occasions”.
“Those who imposed the 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.
Carrying on the attack on the Congress, the PM said the party is hiding its “disdain for the Constitution” through its “tokenism”.

“The mindset which led to the imposition of the Emergency is very much alive among the same Party which imposed it. 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,” PM Modi wrote.

‘Opposition’s long history of killing democracy
Union home minister Amit Shah in a blistering attack at the Congress said the Emergency is the biggest example of the opposition party’s long history of killing democracy and harming it repeatedly.

BJP chief JP Nadda said on X 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.
“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,” Nadda said.
“I am proud that our Party belongs to that tradition which resisted the Emergency tooth and nail and worked to protect democracy,” he added.

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, he said on X, adding that it raises a big question mark on the commitment to democracy of several political parties.

The BJP’s piercing attack on the Congress comes 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 on Monday carried copies of the Constitution in Parliament as the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha began.