Sunday, February 25, 2024

Rajnath slams Cong, says Emergency was biggest blow to democracy

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday hit out at the Congress for its ‘democracy-under-threat’ attacks on the government and reminded it that imposition of Emergency was one of the biggest blows to democracy.
Also slamming the opposition parties’ meeting in Patna, he said they can fight polls by joining hands but should not try to mislead people by making baseless allegations against the Narendra Modi government.
Singh was addressing a gathering as part of the BJP’s public outreach ‘Sampark Se Samarthan’ to mark the completion of nine years of the government at the Centre. Without naming anyone, he also took on the AAP government in Punjab over law- and-order issue.
On Friday’s Patna meeting, he said, “It would have been better had they (opposition parties) held a meeting on June 25. Then they could have at least observed the anniversary of the Emergency.”
At the meeting, the Opposition parties resolved to take on the BJP unitedly in 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Over 32 leaders of more than a dozen political parties attended the meeting hosted by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Singh said the opposition wants to remove Modi and the BJP government but asserted that the BJP “has got the trust of the people”.
Attacking the Congress, he said, it “unleashed one of the biggest blows to democracy and is now saying democracy is under attack under the leadership of Modi”. He went to add, “I want to ask Congressmen if Modi ji was ending democracy then how could they win elections in Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka. How did they win in Chhattisgarh and also in Rajasthan if Modi is ending democracy.”
He recited a couplet while referring to the opposition parties meeting, “Jugnuon ne sharab pee lee hai, ab woh suraj ko bhi gaaliyan denge. (Fireflies are drunk and now will abuse the sun).”
He, however, clarified, “I am not calling anyone ‘jugnu’.”
Singh said he spent 18 months in jail during the Emergency and during that time, he also lost his mother.
Speaking about Punjab, he said the state is top priority of the BJP government and whenever there is a law-and-order issue in the border state, the government is concerned about it.
Singh said when Amarinder Singh was the chief minister, he always extended support to the Centre on the law and order issue.
“Today the situation has changed. You know about the government of the day in Punjab very well. What is the situation there? I feel that the state or the country whose internal and external security is not good, then neither the state nor the country can progress,” he said.
Referring to the AAP government in Punjab, he said, “I expect from this government that there should be an initiative from your side towards maintaining law and order in the state. But I understand that this government was not doing it.”
Singh also remembered Akali stalwart and former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who died in April, and paid tributes to him.
“I want to say that we respect those a lot who come into the NDA fold. But I can say if somebody leaves the NDA and even though it maintains distance from us but we do not get away from hearts. It is the character of the BJP,” he said.
Speaking about the nine years of the Modi government, Singh said there was a time when India was not taken seriously at the world platform.
“But today, when India speaks at the world platforms, countries listen to us. The stature of India has risen in the world,” he said.
“Now India is not weak, it is a strong India,” he added.
Singh said it was Modi who ensured stopping of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine for four-and-half-hours in order to evacuate Indian students who were stuck there due to the war.
He also spoke about efforts made by the government for becoming self-reliant in military weapons and equipment and said the country which used to be one of the biggest importers is now among top 25 countries in terms of exports in the defence sector.
Referring to Modi’s US state visit, Singh said GE Aerospace will transfer technology to India for producing fighter jet engines.


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