Emergency was a ‘mistake’, says Rahul Gandhi, reveals he was criticised for holding party polls

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By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
March 2, 2021 11:35:05 pm

Rahul Gandhi, Congress, Indira GandhiRahul Gandhi, in his conversation with Prof. Kaushik Basu, also criticised the BJP government for keeping the media and judiciary in check. (File Photo)

Making a big statement on Tuesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the Emergency imposed by his grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi was a “mistake”.

During a virtual conversation with Professor Kaushik Basu of Cornwell University in US, the Congress MP said what happened during that period was “wrong”, but it was fundamentally different from the current scenario, as the Congress at no point attempted to capture the country’s institutional framework.

“I think that was a mistake. Absolutely, that was a mistake. And my grandmother (Indira Gandhi) said as much,” he said.

The Emergency was imposed by Indira Gandhi for a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977, when fundamental rights of citizens saw curbs.

Gandhi further said his party has never abused India’s institutional framework.

Targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party, Gandhi alleged that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is doing something “fundamentally different” and filling up the institutions of the country with its people. He added that even if the BJP would be defeated in the election, it is an impossible task to get rid of their people in the institutional structure.

LIVE: My interaction with Prof Kaushik Basu @Cornell University https://t.co/GfErZtSpW2

— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 2, 2021

Rahul Gandhi further revealed that he was criticised and attacked by Congress leaders for demanding elections in the party at the Youth Congress and NSUI levels. “I am the first person who says democratic elections within the party is absolutely critical,” he said.

Gandhi, however, wondered why nobody raises questions on the BJP, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) regarding lack of internal democracy. He added that the question on internal democracy is raised for the Congress because “we are an ideological party whose ideology is that of the Constitution and of equality”.

On being asked about his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s death in 1991, he said, the incident “made him understand violence”.

Gandhi added that he saw his father’s death coming as he was fighting many forces at the time.

Rahul Gandhi, in his conversation with Prof. Basu, also criticised the BJP government for keeping the media and judiciary in check.

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