The Congress on Sunday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remark on the Emergency by saying that he should remember the country is facing an “undeclared Emergency” under the BJP rule.
It, however, acknowledged that the Emergency, imposed on this day in 1975, “was a mistake” and said lessons have been learned.
“The prime minister talks of remembering the Emergency. Yes, we remember the Emergency. But we also ask him to remember we are facing an undeclared Emergency,” All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson Tom Vadakkan alleged.
History may repeat itself if the prime minister failed to learn from the past, he warned.
“We accept the Emergency was a mistake. We have learned from it. But while reminding us of those mistakes, please learn to correct yourself. If you do not learn from history, you are bound to repeat it. The country is witnessing just that,” he said.
The Congress leader referred to the CBI raids at the residence of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy to drive his point home that there is an “undeclared Emergency” under the BJP rule, with the media being muzzled.
“The Group of Ministers has been reduced to “just a name” under the Modi rule. It is not the Union Cabinet but the Prime Minister’s Office which takes the decisions,” Vadakkan claimed.
“No meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security took place. No explanation has been given till date on the amount of money collected through demonetization,” he said.
The Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity should issue a white paper on those receiving its advertisements and to what extent corporate houses are involved in the backroom management of the media.
The Congress leader also expressed concern “over a spurt in the number of lynching incidents and harassment by anti-Romeo squads (in Uttar Pradesh)”.
The situation at present is “no match to a declared Emergency”, he said.
In his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi today remembered the Emergency, saying “such a black night” cannot be forgotten, and underlined the need for eternal vigilance to preserve democracy.
He recalled that democracy-lovers had fought a big battle against the Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and said the pro-democracy “heritage” needs to be strengthened.
Modi said it was essential to remember the incidents which have caused harm to democracy and move ahead towards the positives of democracy.