NEW DELHI: Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday claimed former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had drawn inspiration from the Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler to impose Emergency in the country four decades ago.
In a second part of his articles recollecting memories of Emergency, Jaitley drew parallels in Hitler turning a minority government into majority in Germany in 1930s to Gandhi resorting to imposition of Emergency after her Lok Sabha election win had been set aside by the judiciary.
“Hitler did not have an absolute majority in Parliament. On February 28th, he got his President to invoke Article 48 of the Constitution which gave emergency powers. The decree giving emergency powers put restrictions on personal liberty, free speech, right of assembly, association, violation of privacy, home searches and promoted restrictions on property and all other rights,” Jaitely wrote in the second part of the article.
The minister, whose post was shared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter, went on to state that Gandhi imposed the Emergency under Article 352, while suspending fundamental rights under Article 359 on the premise that disorder had been planned by the opposition in the country. “The security forces were being asked to disobey illegal orders and, therefore, in the larger interest of the nation, India had to become a disciplined democracy,” Jaitely recollected.
Jaitely noted that both Hitler and Gandhi never abrogated the Constitution. “They used a republican Constitution to transform democracy into dictatorship,” he added.
The Union Minister also claimed that Gandhi went one step further than Hitler by instituting a political dynasty and unveiled dynastic democracy. “There were a few things that Hitler did not do which Gandhi did. She prohibited publication of Parliamentary proceeding. Gandhi amended both the Constitution and the Representation of People Act. The Constitution amendment made the election of the Prime Minister non-justiciable,” added Jaitely.
Meanwhile, the Congress communications department chief Randeep Surjewala said that former PM Indira Gandhi was the same person who announced fresh elections in 1977 and was voted out of power. But after seeing the Janata Dal government for three years the people brought back Indira Gandhi in 1980, he added. “We make mistakes but accept it unlike the BJP which refuses to do so,” said Surjewala, adding that both Indira Gandhi as then party chief and later Sonia Gandhi had said that emergency was a mistake.