NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid rich tributes to Morarji Desai, a seasoned politician and a former Prime Minister and applauded his unique role in ensuring that the way 'democracy was assassinated in 1975' by way of Emergency, could never be repeated again.
"To save democracy, Morarji Desai flung himself in the movement against imposition of Emergency.
For this, he had to pay a heavy price in his old age.
The government of that time arrested and incarcerated him," Prime Minister said in his monthly radio broadcast Mann-Ki-Baat programme over All India Radio.
Mr Modi said, ''the Late Morarji Desai had ensured that the way democracy was assassinated in 1975 by imposition of emergency, could never be repeated again in the future".
Mr Modi said - "During his tenure, the 44th Constitutional Amendment was introduced.
This was important because the 42nd Amendment which was brought during the Emergency, curtailed the powers of the Supreme Court which violated our democratic values, was struck down".
"The 44th amendment, made it mandatory that the proceedings of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies were made public through the newspapers.
This amendment, restored certain powers of Supreme Court," the Prime Minister said.
"For the first time constitutional safeguards guaranteed that the President could only announce the emergency upon the written recommendation of the Cabinet, and that the period of emergency could not be extended more than six months at any stretch of time," he said.
Mr Modi said - "The upcoming generations of our nation will always remember his priceless contribution in maintaining the sanctity of Indian democracy.
Once again I pay my homage to a great leader like him".
Born on February 29, 1986, Desai, a native of Gujarat - was country's fourth Prime Minister.
Ironically, Desai, a Congress veteran, was the Prime Minister between 1977 and 1979 who headed the country's first non-Congress government.
He breathed his last on April 10, 1995.
Mr Modi also asserted that he will return to power after the ensuing elections and will address the nation again in 'Mann-Ki Baat' radio broadcast from the last Sunday of May month.
"Next two months, we all will get engaged in elections process. I will be a candidate myself and hence keeping up the high traditions of democracy and as a mark of respect to it, the next Mann Ki Baat session will be held on last Sunday of May 2019," the Prime Minister said in his irreplaceable style.