NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi conceded that the Emergency imposed by his grandmother Indira Gandhi was a mistake but added that the party never attempted to capture India’s constitutional framework. “I think that (Emergency) was a mistake.
Absolutely, that was a mistake. And my grandmother (Indira) said as much,” Rahul told economist and India’s former chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu during a conversation. The Emergency was imposed for a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977.
“There is a fundamental difference between what happened during the Emergency, which was wrong, and what is happening in the country now,” Rahul said. “The Congress party at no point attempted to capture India’s institutional framework and frankly, the Congress party does not even have that capability.
Our design does not allow us that and even if we want, we cannot do it.” The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is doing something “fundamentally different” and filling up the institutions of the country with its people, he alleged. “Even if we defeat the BJP in the elections, we are not going to get rid of their people in the institutional structure.” Rahul gave the examples of Kiran Bedi, the former Puducherry L-G, and Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla to buttress his point.