Congress MP Rahul Gandhi shows a copy of the Constitution of India while taking oath as a Member of the 18th Lok Sabha on Monday (ANI Photo/SansadTV)

The Modi government targets the Congress party for Emergency as the combined Opposition pressures BJP leaders on the issue of Constitution. It is a sign of battles that lie ahead in the 18th Lok Sabha

Our Bureau
New Delhi

In a sign of days to come, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the imposition of the emergency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed sharp criticism at the Congress and said that the dark days of the emergency remind how the Congress Party trampled over the Constitution of India. Taking to X PM Modi posted, “Today is a day to pay homage to all those great men and women who resisted the emergency. The Dark Days of Emergency remind us of how the Congress Party subverted basic freedoms and trampled over the Constitution of India, which every Indian respects greatly.”

He further said that just to cling on to power, the then Congress government disregarded every democratic principle. He further shared, “Just to cling on to power, the then Congress government disregarded every democratic principle and made the nation into a jail. Any person who disagreed with Congress was tortured and harassed. Socially regressive policies were unleashed to target the weakest sections.”

He wrote that those who imposed the emergency have no right to profess their love for our Constitution. “These are the same people who have imposed Article 356 on innumerable occasions, got a bill to destroy press freedom, destroyed federalism, and violated every aspect of the Constitution,” he added.

PM Modi further hit out at Congress and said that the people of India have rejected them time and again. He further added, “The mindset that led to the imposition of the emergency is very much alive among the same party that imposed it. They hide their disdain for the Constitution through their tokenism, but the people of India have seen through their antics, and that is why they have rejected them time and again.”

Earlier, BJP president and Union Minister JP Nadda, along with fellow party colleagues and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and S Jaishankar, took to social media to share their thoughts on the 49th anniversary of the proclamation of the emergency in the country.

The BJP said it will launch a nationwide programme to mark the 21-month state of emergency imposed on June 25, 1975, by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

PM Narendra Modi addresses the media before the First Session of the 18th Lok Sabha (ANI)

External affairs minister S Jaishankar took to social media platform X and said, “On the anniversary of the declaration of emergency, recall the dark period for Indian democracy and the courage shown by those who resisted that challenge. The collective response of the nation defined our generation. It will remain a constant reminder of the need to keep working to protect, preserve, and fight for our democracy.”

After the elections, the debate between the government and opposition is now focused entirely on the Constitution.

After Rahul Gandhi took the oath in Lok Sabha as a Member of Parliament (MP) from Rae Bareli on Tuesday with a copy of the Constitution in his hand, he said ‘Jai Samvidhan’ to reporters while leaving the Parliament. Rahul Gandhi was part of the remaining MPs who took their oaths after a total of 262 newly elected MPs, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, did so on Monday, the inaugural session of the 18th Lok Sabha.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, who had come to Parliament for his brother, Rahul Gandhi’s oath-taking, said that she was pleased to see several party leaders taking oaths in the 18th Lok Sabha. Priyanka Gandhi was accompanied by his mother and Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi to the Parliament on Tuesday.

On Monday too, while Prime Minister Modi approached the stage to take his oath, Rahul Gandhi was seen displaying a copy of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, efforts by the BJP’s top leadership to reach a consensus on the Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha came to nought when the INDIA bloc decided to nominate 8-time MP K Suresh for the post. His nomination followed the filing of nomination by BJP’s Kota MP Om Birla for the same position. Birla previously served as the Speaker in the 17th Lok Sabha. Earlier, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that they had informed Rajnath Singh that the Opposition is prepared to support NDA’s Speaker candidate, on the condition that the Deputy Speaker position is given to the opposition.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh arrives to attend the second day of the 18th Lok Sabha session on Tuesday (ANI Photo/Rahul Singh)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday targeted the central government and listed ten issues that took place during the first fifteen days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. The issues listed by Rahul Gandhi included alleged NEET irregularities, UGC NET paper leak, a train accident, water crisis, and more.

Rahul Gandhi in a post on X, alleged that PM Modi is busy in saving his government and said, “First 15 days of NDA! 1. Horrific train accident; 2. Terrorist attacks in Kashmir 3. The plight of passengers in trains 4. NEET scam; 5. NEET PG cancelled 6. UGC NET paper leak 7. Milk, pulses, gas, tolls and expensive 8. Forests blazing with fire; 9. Water crisis; 10. Deaths due to lack of arrangements during the heat wave.”

“Psychologically on the backfoot, Narendra Modi is busy saving his government,” the Raebareli MP added.

He further said that “INDIA’s strong opposition” will continue to raise the voice of the people, and not allow the Prime Minister to escape without accountability.

“The attack on the Constitution by Narendra Modi and his government is not acceptable to us – and we will not allow this to happen under any circumstances. INDIA’s strong opposition will continue its pressure, raise the voice of the people, and not allow the Prime Minister to escape without accountability,” the Congress leader posted.

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi alleged that PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were “attacking” the Constitution and said that such attacks are not acceptable by the Opposition INDIA bloc.

Opposition leaders, including Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, staged a protest in Parliament premises holding copies of the Constitution in their hands.

“The attack that the PM and Amit Shah are launching on the Constitution is not acceptable to us, we will not let this happen. So, we held the Constitution while taking the oath…Our message is going across, no power can touch the Constitution of India,” the Rae Bareli MP told reporters ahead of the beginning of the 18th Lok Sabha session.

Amid the row over the appointment of Bhartruhari Mahtab as pro-tem speaker, INDIA bloc leaders on Monday carried out a protest holding copies of the Constitution inside the Parliament premises in the national capital.

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said, ” The ruling party hasn’t forgotten their haughtiness…we can see that they are ignoring the key subjects of the country…the whole Dalit community in India could witness a historic seen if K Suresh were appointed as Pro-tem Speaker…today, BJP has not just neglected Congress, INDIA alliance and K Suresh but the whole Dalit community…”

Akhilesh Yadav, Dimple Yadav, and all other MPs of Samajwadi Party arrived at the Parliament this morning, carrying a copy of the Constitution of India.

Trinamool Congress leaders Sudip Bandhopadhyay, Kalyan Banerjee, and Sougata Roy stated that the Modi government has violated the Constitution. “We demand to protect the constitution of the country…Agreements happen between India and Bangladesh but they do not call the West Bengal government, and do everything one-sidedly…We have to protect it from the first day of this 18th Lok Sabha…” said TMC MP Sudip Bandhopadhyay.

“We are protesting because the provisions of the Constitution have been violated. The Constitution has been violated by the Narendra Modi government. The way the pro-tem speaker has been appointed is a clear violation of the Constitutional provision and clear violation of the earlier precedences…” said TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee.

But Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday criticized the Congress party on the 50th anniversary of the Emergency for its autocratic actions and said that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi unleashed ruthless atrocities on the people of India during the Emergency.

Shah also quoted an old speech of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, accusing the party of crushing the spirit of our Constitution for power retention.

Amit Shah in a post on X said, “The Congress crushed the spirit of our Constitution several times for the sake of maintaining a certain family in power. Indira Gandhi unleashed ruthless atrocities on the people of India during the Emergency”.

Amit Shah said, “The yuvraj of the Congress party has forgotten that his grandmother imposed the Emergency and his father, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, on July 23, 1985, said in the Lok Sabha, taking much pride in this horrific episode, “There is nothing wrong with an Emergency.”

The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha has begun on a testy note for the government and opposition as both sides try to show their commitment to the Constitution.

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