Chennai, June 25: The “power hungry” Congress government took away the rights of the people by clamping emergency this day 45 years ago and when the very same party spoke on democracy it was anguishing, BJP leader and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.
Recalling that the emergency came into effect in India on June 25, 1975, she said, it was promulgated by the “power hungry Congress party and they created a huge challenge for democracy by coming up with emergency.”
The emergency continued till March 21, 1977.
Addressing BJP Tamil Nadu unit party workers via a virtual link, she said: “People’s rights were completely rejected. Why did the Congress party do it?It was hankering for power, it was for the sake of office. The law was broken and an emergency was declared.”
The emergency era witnessed several atrocities, she alleged and said several leaders from the ranks of opposition were jailed and the DMK government led by late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was dismissed.
A DMK leader, ‘Mayor’ Chittibabu died unable to bear the torture in prison, she alleged.
“That the Congress today has the guts to talk of democracy is anguishing,” she said adding the DMK, however, joined hands with the Congress subsequently and it was a matter of surprise.
She wondered what yardstick of democracy prompted the DMK to join hands with the Congress and the time has come for the Dravidian party to ponder over it.
Also, she asked: “What right does the DMK have to raise questions on freedom of speech and democracy?
On “one year achievements” of the BJP-led Centre, she listed removal of Article 370, abolition of instant divorce (triple talaq), amendment to the Citizenship Act, the Rs 6,000 assistance under the PM Kisan Scheme and efforts to build Ram temple in Ayodhya following the Supreme Court order.
“What we have to tell all those who oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act for political reasons is that this law does not take away the citizenship of anyone, rather it grants citizenship to those who have sought refuge…do we have that right or not,” she asked.
Under the Kisan Scheme, 14 crore farmers including 35.
59 lakh in Tamil Nadu are benefitted, she said and also listed budgetary allocation for sectors including infrastructure and fisheries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoyed huge support from the people and that was why he was voted again last year and within 100 days of assumption of power for the second time, Article 370 of the Constitution was removed, she said.
Removal of that provision was the cornerstone of the BJP’s ideology since the times of the Jan Sangh and it was not implemented all of a sudden last year, she said.
All laws applicable elsewhere in the country were now extended to the hilly region and opportunities made available there including for the Scheduled Castes, she said. (PTI)