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Country faced Emergency just for one family: Irani

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Union minister Smriti Irani today said the country faced Emergency 43 years ago "just for one family" and also paid homage to those who had opposed it for protecting the country's democracy.

Stating that the BJP had been observing June 25, the day in 1975 when Emergency was imposed, as 'Black Day', she asked the people to take a pledge to protect the country's democracy.

"Lakhs of people in the country lost their constitutional and fundamental rights for no fault of theirs. False cases were made against two lakh people. The internal emergency was imposed just for one family," she said in a veiled attack on the Gandhi family.

"We want history not to repeat again in India. We should not forget the sacrifice made by people for maintaining democracy," she said.

Irani, who is the Union minister for textiles, said she had come to the state as BJP's representative to pay homage to the people who had sacrificed a lot by opposing Emergency for protecting democracy.

"I have come here to pay tribute to 900 satyagrahis and 300 MISA (The Maintenance of Internal Security Act) prisoners of Odisha for their sacrifices to protect democracy during the 1975 Emergency," she said.

Prominent among those arrested in Odisha were former chief ministers Harekrushna Mahatab, Biju Patnaik and Nabakrushna Choudhury, former Lok Sabha speaker Rabi Ray, senior BJP leader Biswabhusan Harichandan and others, she said.

The Union minister criticised Odisha government's rejection of the flagship programmes of the Centre like Ayushman Bharat Yojna, the medical insurance scheme for the poor.

The Narendra Modi-led government aims to provide health coverage of Rs 5 lakh to nearly 10 crore poor families in the country, she said.

"The PM has always appealed for cooperative federalism. I'm hopeful that Odisha government will respond to the health needs of people of the state, walk the extra mile and diligently ensure that the health scheme is implemented at the grassroots, Irani added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, June 26 2018. 18:20 IST