Opposition hits back at PM, claims ‘undeclared emergency’ existed under BJP’s rule


PTI, Jun 24, 2024, 8:33 PM IST

Mallikarjun Kharge (credit: PTI / File)

New Delhi: Opposition leaders hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “Emergency” remark on Monday, calling the 10 years of his government an “undeclared emergency”.

Slamming Modi over his remarks, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the prime minister delivered a longer-than-usual customary address “but clearly, even after the moral and political defeat, the arrogance remains”.

He said the country was hoping that Modi would say something on important issues.

“Narendra Modiji, you are giving advice to the opposition. You are reminding us of the 50-year-old Emergency, but have forgotten the last 10 years of undeclared emergency, which was ended by the people,” Kharge said in a post on X.

“People have given their mandate against Modiji. Despite this, if he has become the Prime Minister, then he should work,” he added.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the prime minister has shown no evidence that he has understood the true meaning of the people’s verdict, “which saw him eking out only a narrow and dubious win in Varanasi”.

“The non-biological PM who suffered a resounding personal, political and moral defeat in the Lok Sabha elections has just given his usual ‘desh ke naam sandesh’ outside the Parliament as the 18th Lok Sabha prepares to commence its tenure. He has said nothing new and as usual, resorted to diversion,” Ramesh said on X.

“Let him be under no doubt: the INDIA Janbandhan will hold him to account for every minute. He stands brutally exposed,” the Congress leader added.

Asked about Modi’s remarks on Emergency, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav evaded a direct reply and said, “I thank the wise people of India, who voted to protect the Constitution. The people got tired waiting for achche din (good days). I hope the people will have happy days in the future.”

Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mahua Moitra said the ruling BJP fell short of a majority in the recently-held Lok Sabha polls as the people of the country have realised that it is against the Constitution.

“From 303, the BJP is down to 240 seats. It is running a minority government. It kept saying ‘400 paar’ but could not even get a simple majority.

“The only reason is that the people of the country have understood that there is the BJP on one side and the Constitution on the other. The people have chosen the Constitution,” Moitra said.

She also alleged that there was an “undeclared emergency” in the country under the BJP’s rule.

“I was not born during the first Emergency, but they (BJP) had been running an undeclared emergency for the last 10 years and the people of the country said it would not be allowed,” the TMC leader said.

Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Anil Desai said the Emergency period is long over and the government should focus on the present.

“The Emergency period has gone, but what is the situation today? No one likes recalling the Emergency…. I hope the dark days do not return,” he said.

Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) leader N K Premachandran also said talking about the 1975 Emergency is “insignificant” at this juncture.

“It happened in 1975. Fifty years have lapsed. It is totally irrelevant. We are talking about things that are happening at present. It is insignificant talking about the 1975 Emergency at this juncture,” he said.

Azad Samaj Party (Kanshi Ram) MP Chandrashekhar said the prime minister should follow his own advice.

“It would have been good if what he is saying reflected in his work. In this Parliament itself, more than 140 MPs were suspended and laws passed. Hope this government, which is not as popular, will respect the people’s sentiment and not impose any law on them,” he said.

“The Constitution is the foundation of this country,” Chandrashekhar asserted.

In his customary remarks ahead of the commencement of the 18th Lok Sabha, Modi said the country needs a responsible opposition as people want substance, not slogans. He said people want debate, diligence and not disturbance in Parliament.

The prime minister said people expect good steps from the opposition, but it has been disappointing so far and expressed hope that it will fulfil its role and maintain decorum.

Taking a swipe at the Congress without naming it, Modi said the anniversary of Emergency falls on June 25 and termed it a black spot on India’s parliamentary history, when the Constitution was discarded and the country turned into a prison.

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