New Delhi: The Congress equated Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Mughal emperor Aurangzeb on Tuesday, alleging that he had ‘enslaved democracy’ for the past 49 months.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s criticism of the grand old party and the Gandhi family over the Emergency, chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Modi was launching an attack on the Congress only to hide his own failures and the “false” promises and “jumlas” he had made to the public before coming to power.
Surjewala alleged that an atmosphere of fear was being created in the country to suppress dissent with those in opposition dubbed as “anti-national” and that an “undeclared emergency” was imposed in the country under Modi.
“Delhi Sultanate’s ‘dictator’ Modi, who is even more cruel than Aurangzeb, today gave lessons to the country on the Emergency imposed 43 years ago. By taking out his anger on the Congress, can a lid be put on Modiji’s ‘jumlas’?
“Today’s Aurangzeb has enslaved democracy in the country including in his own party, the BJP. Modiji, while trying to put a lid on his own failures, is taking revenge with history today. But he has forgotten that he himself will become history soon,” he said.
The Prime Minister, while addressing an event to mark the 43rd anniversary of imposition of the Emergency, singled out the Congress and the Gandhi family over the measure, calling it a “sin” of that party.
Alleging that the Constitution was misused for “one family”, Modi said there was no difference in the “psyche” of the Congress during the Emergency and now.
Surjewala attacked the Prime Minister for saying that the Congress should not give him lessons on democracy and said: “Aurangzeb never took lessons from anybody... Dictators don’t take lessons, only history teaches them lessons and I am sure Modiji will also meet the same fate.”
In an apparent attack on Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, the Congress leader said, “Unfortunately, if those sitting in constitutional positions will also murder ‘maryada’ and set traditions, then people’s faith in democracy will be hurt.”
Surjewala alleged that the Prime Minister was threatening the states to fall in line or there would be a cut in the grants released to them.
“There is an undeclared emergency in this country for the last 49 months with opposition suppressed and PM Modi himself following those who give death and rape threats to anyone who opposes them, including BJP ministers,” he said.
The Congress leader said for the past 49 months, Modi’s mounting promises had turned out to be lies as black money had not returned yet and democracy was dying.
He also alleged that the finance ministry was actively working to disrupt the thriving Indian economy instead of improving it.
Defending the Emergency, Surjewala said it was imposed 43 years ago against the Janata Party, which was pro-rich and pro-zamindars and was imposed to defend the rights of the poor, the Dalits and the have-nots.
He said the Congress’s fight was against the hoarders and black-marketeers who were being protected by the Jana Sangh then and today, Modi’s ‘Suit-Boot Sarkar’ was also protecting a handful of crony capitalists.
He added that the Indira Gandhi government in 1975 fought a war against poverty and gave access of banks to the marginalised. “Will merely hitting out at the Congress help provide two crore jobs per year to the youth in the country? Will attacking Congress help bring in black money into the country and will violence and atrocities against women and Dalits stop?” he asked.
Congress MP Ahmed Patel also asked if the government would “apologise for the undeclared Emergency”.
“After 4 years, fear of losing 2019 elections is haunting the government & hence they are trying to take refuge in the events of 1975 Emergency,” he said on Twitter.
...Will they apologise for the undeclared emergency for last 4 years?— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) 26 June 2018
People are being lynched & threatened, agencies are being misused, economic and civil liberties are being curtailed
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav also attacked the Centre, alleging that the country was going through an "undeclared Emergency" under the BJP-led Centre and people were witnessing "a black day every day".
Taking a jibe at the "Black Day" celebrations organised by the BJP, he said, "If the BJP really wants to celebrate a Black Day, it should do so every day as the people have been suffering under its rule for the last four years. There is agrarian distress, rising unemployment and soaring inflation. Besides, our relations with the neighbouring countries are in a bad shape and our borders are not secure."