Badal takes on opponents, recalls emergency rule


Chandigarh : Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Monday took on his political opponents, particularly the Congress, asking them to do some "soul searching" as he recalled their role during the "traumatic experience of the emergency rule".

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Making a suo motu statement on the floor of the assembly here, Badal called for "constant vigilance against some subterranean dictatorial tendencies in our polity to prevent the recurrence of the traumatic experience of the days of the Emergency in 1975."

Monday is the 32nd anniversary of the imposition of internal emergency rule by then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

"Those levelling baseless charges of vendetta and violation of democratic and human rights in Punjab should to do some serious soul searching on the issue and categorically oppose any relapse into draconian tendencies within their own parties.

"There is a need also to reawaken the spirit with which the country had fought against the most serious challenge to its democracy from the then Congress government. Many of those now talking about the rule of law and human rights in Punjab were in fact party to the decision to rob the country of these very rights and values," Badal said.

The chief minister said that Punjabis had to bear the assault of the imposition of emergency in the country with hundreds being sent to prison.

"The Akali Dal played a pivotal role in opposing the emergency repression and it was one of the proudest chapters in the post-independence history of the country," he added.