NEW DELHI: Congress leader Anand Sharma on Thursday attempted to downplay Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that Emergency was India’s ‘darkest period’ and said there was a witch hunt and a politics of vendetta against ‘popular leader’ Indira Gandhi after that.
“It’s true there was a situation which prevailed at that time that was also unprecedented…..Much has been said about it, this has been discussed, debated, articles and books have been written. After the emergency was lifted, there was free and fair election. All the leaders of the opposition whose liberty was affected during the emergency, campaigned freely,” he said.
Sharma said Indira Gandhi respected the verdict of the people in the election which the Congress lost and there was a smooth transfer of power.
“This only happens when you have commitment to democracy. If you don’t have commitment to democracy then free and fair elections, free campaigning and transfer of power does not take place in those situations. After that, there was a witch hunt, there was a politics of vendetta, commissions were set up, false cases were foisted on Indira Gandhi, who is a great and a popular leader of India,” said Sharma.
“And the people of India accepted her regret for anything wrong that may have happened. The people of India also saw the agenda of our opponents and they reposed her trust in Indira Gandhi,” he added.
Prime Minister Modi had earlier described the Emergency as India's darkest period when the then political leadership trampled over the democracy.
Prime Minister Modi had earlier said that a vibrant liberal democracy is the key to progress.
"Let us do everything possible to further strengthen our democratic ideals and ethos," he tweeted.