‘Govt of 2 people’ vs ‘1 dynasty’: Congress, BJP spar over Emergency

The Emergency, imposed on June 25, 1975 by former PM Indira Gandhi, continued till March 21, 1977

Amit Shah Randeep Surjewala
Union Home Minister Amit Shah (L) and senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala | File Photo: PTI

As India completed 45 years since the Emergency was imposed by former prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1975, a war of words ensued between Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala and former BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday (June 25).

While Shah, now the Union home minister, slammed the grand old party with “one dynasty” taunt, Surjewala responded with “government of two people” jibe, referring to the ex-chief of BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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In a series of tweets on Thursday, Shah came down heavily on the Congress, saying that the interests of one family prevailed over the party and national interests, and questioned why the ‘Emergency mindset’ still remained in the opposition party.

On the 45th year of the imposition of Emergency in the country, Shah claimed leaders are feeling suffocated in the Congress and the party’s disconnect with people keeps widening. The Emergency, imposed on June 25, 1975, continued till March 21, 1977.

“On this day, 45 years ago one family’s greed for power led to the imposition of the Emergency. Overnight the nation was turned into a prison. The press, courts, free speech… all were trampled over. Atrocities were committed on the poor and downtrodden,” he said in a series of tweets.

Shah said that due to the efforts of lakhs of people, the Emergency was lifted, democracy was restored in India but it remained absent in the Congress. “The interests of one family prevailed over party’s interests and national interests,” he said.

“As one of India’s opposition parties, Congress needs to ask itself: Why does the Emergency mindset remain? Why are leaders who don’t belong to one dynasty unable to speak up? Why are leaders getting frustrated in Congress? Else, their disconnect with people will keep widening,” Shah added.

Related news: ‘Congress killed democracy’: Javadekar slams party on 1975 Emergency

Responding to these, Surjewala came up with his own set of three rhetorical questions and described the ruling NDA dispensation as a “government of two people.”

“As India’s ruling party, BJP needs to answer: Why is its majoritarian rule described as Govt of 2 people only & all others as mere side kicks? Why is horse trading, mass defections & institution capture its only legacy? Why is it obsessed in its vile hatred of Nehru-Gandhi’s?” tweeted the senior Congress leader.

Besides, Shah also shared links of two news reports in his tweets. The first was related to a recent CWC meeting where Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that he was “not scared of PM Modi” and would continue to attack him, while accusing most leaders of skipping direct criticism of the prime minister.

According to the news, Gandhi flew into a rage when CWC permanent invitee RPN Singh suggested that Congress must ensure that criticism of Modi on the Chinese incursion was not personal.

The second news report which Shah shared was on the removal of Sanjay Jha as a spokesperson of the Congress, days after he wrote a newspaper article critical of the party.
In the article published recently, Jha had said, “The Congress has demonstrated extraordinary lassitude, and its lackadaisical attitude towards its own political obsolescence is baffling…”

“I would like to call a spade a spade here and a shovel: there has been no serious effort to get the party up and running with any sense of urgency,” he had said in the article in a national daily.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar too had slammed the Congress over the Emergency, saying those who killed democracy 45 years ago are now questioning the government today.

(With inputs from agencies)

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