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Remember how one family's desire for power cost the nation so much: PM Modi

Congress has been mounting a relentless attack on Modi

Press Trust of India 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

In a sharp attack on the Congress, Prime Minister on Wednesday accused it of insulting key institutions like Parliament, judiciary, media and the armed forces when it was in power and also targeted the party over what he called “dynastic politics”.

The has been mounting a relentless attack on Modi, alleging that his government has been systematically damaging various institutions. Modi's comments are seen as a counter to the charges on the principal opposition party. In a blog post, Modi also urged people to think wisely before casting their vote in the Lok Sabha polls even as he referred to Emergency and instances of imposition of President's Rule in various states by governments at the Centre.

Asked to react to Modi's attack, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra told reporters in Mirzapur in UP: “The PM has attacked every institution in this country for the last five years, including the institution of which all of you are a part." In his blog post, Modi said one family's desire for power cost the nation dearly and that people should remember this while casting their votes. “As you go to vote — remember the past and how one family's desire for power cost the nation so greatly. If they could do it then, they can surely do it now,” Modi wrote.

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"Think wisely: From the press to parliament. From soldiers to free speech. From the constitution to the courts. Institutional insult is the Congress way," Modi wrote.

"Everyone is wrong, only the Congress is correct," he added.

Reacting to his "dynastic politics" jibe directed at the Gandhi family, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said the PM himself comes from the Sangh Parivar without whose blessings no one in the country can occupy any public position.

"No one in the can occupy any public position without the support of the RSS. The Sangh Parivar is the biggest parivar in the world. Without their blessings no one can hold any public position in the country, be it the position of a PM, a minister, governor or chief ministers," Sibal told PTI.

Modi said India has seen that whenever dynastic politics has been powerful, institutions have taken a severe beating.

Referring to parliamentary proceedings, he said, "The nation knows the numerical dynamics of both houses. It is clear that when a non-dynasty party [has a] higher number, its tendency to work more is visible ... which were the forces disrupting the House and why." Discussing the freedom of expression, the prime minister alleged that dynastic parties have never been comfortable with a free and vibrant press.

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"No wonder, the very first constitutional amendment brought in by the Congress government sought to curtail free speech. Speaking truth to power, which is the hallmark of a free press was seen as vulgar and indecent," Modi wrote.

He pointed out that the UPA years saw the bringing of a law that could land you in prison for posting anything “offensive”.

"A tweet against the son of a powerful UPA minister could land innocent citizens in jail ... the nation watched with horror when a few youngsters were arrested for expressing their true feelings at a programme in Karnataka, where the Congress is sharing power," he said.

Modi said he wants to tell the Congress that "no amount of intimidation" will change the ground realities. "Curbing freedom of expression will not change people's poor impression of the party." Referring to Emergency, he said it was imposed to "safeguard" the interests of a "dynasty".

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"The Congress has imposed Article 356 almost a hundred times, with Mrs. Indira Gandhi herself doing so about fifty times. If they did not like a state government or leader the government was dismissed," he wrote.

Referring to the judiciary, he alleged that Congress' contempt for courts "is anyway legendary".

"It was Mrs. Indira Gandhi who called for a 'committed judiciary', which seeks to make the courts more loyal to a family than to the Constitution," he claimed.

This pursuit of a “committed judiciary”, Modi said, made Congress overlook several respected judges while appointing the chief justice of India.

"Congress' modus operandi is simple- reject, discredit and threaten. If a judicial verdict goes against them, they reject it, then they discredit the judge and thereafter, talk about bringing impeachment motions against the judge," he said apparently referring to moves to impeach then CJI Dipak Misra.

He said from CAG to the erstwhile Planning Commission, Congress never respected institutions.

"In a telling comment, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi called the Planning Commission led by Dr Manmohan Singh, 'A bunch of jokers'," he said.

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The CBI, he alleged, became the Congress Bureau of Investigation and was used time and again on political parties just before crucial parliamentary votes.

"A policy decision taken by no less than the Union Cabinet was torn into pieces by someone who was not a member of any ministry and that too, in a press conference," he said, in a reference to Rahul Gandhi tearing a copy of an ordinance which sought to overturn a Supreme Court ruling on immediate disqualification of a lawmaker upon conviction.

Referring to defence preparedness, Modi alleged, "After 1947, every Congress government has seen multiple defence scams. They began with jeeps and then moved to guns, submarines and helicopters. Every middleman is linked to one family."

First Published: Wed, March 20 2019. 23:43 IST