New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) Opposition parties, including the Congress and AAP, on Thursday attacked the Narendra Modi government after veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani’s remarks that forces that can crush democracy were stronger at present and a repeat of an Emergency-like situation cannot be ruled out.
Advani made the remarks in an interview to the Indian Express daily.
Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said it is not only his party which is questioning the government “but even senior BJP leadership is raising questions on the efficacy of the government”.
Another Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha, tweeted: “A totalitarian system is gradually overwhelming India; Advani Ji’s warnings confirm our worst apprehensions.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also took a dig at Prime Minister Modi and the central government in a reference to the various standoffs between the Centre and his Aam Aadmi Party government on issues including power to appoint and transfer officials.
“Advani ji is correct in saying that Emergency can’t be ruled out. Is Delhi their first experiment,” he tweeted.
AAP leader Ashutosh also tweeted that Advani’s interview is first “indictment of Modi’s politics”.
“He is saying democracy is not safe, emergency is not far, under Modi’s leadership.”
“When Modi was to be made PM candidate Advani discussed in his blog about Mussolini and Hitler. He was hinting at the future then under Modi,” he said in a series of tweets.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, of the Janata Dal-United, said Advani was a veteran leader and there is need to give attention to his fear and worry.
“The BJP leader is right to a large extent in his remarks that at the present point of time, the forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the constitutional and legal safeguards, are stronger,” he told media persons in Patna.
BJP spokesperson M.J. Akbar, however, said Advani may have been referring to institutions rather than individuals, and he does not think there is any chance of an emergency-like situation.
In an interview to the Indian Express ahead of the 40th anniversary of the imposition of emergency in India, Advani said “forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the constitutional and legal safeguards, are stronger”.
Observing that he did not mean the political leadership was not mature, he said he did not have faith due to its weakness.
Advani also said that he did not have confidence that Emergency cannot happen again, noting “there aren’t enough safeguards in India in 2015”.
Internal emergency was imposed on the country by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975 and it lasted 19 months.