'Super Emergency' for past 5 years: Mamata
Kolkata: Describing the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first term (2014-19) as a period of "Super Emergency", Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has urged to put up a fight to safeguard the democratic institutions in the country.
On the eve of the Emergency called by Indira Gandhi in 1975, 44 years ago, Banerjee tweeted: "Today is the anniversary of the #Emergency declared in 1975. For the last five years, the country went through a 'Super Emergency'. We must learn our lessons from history and fight to safeguard the democratic institutions in the country."
During the 19-month period from June 26, 1975 to March 21, 1977, internal emergency was declared across the country. The official order was issued by the then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352 of the Indian Constitution because of internal disturbances primarily.
During this period, elections were suspended and civil liberties curtailed. Indira Gandhi's political opponents were imprisoned and the press was censored while mass sterilization campaigns were launched by Sanjay Gandhi. It was the most controversial period in the history of Independent India.
In the past one year, Mamata Banerjee has said over and again that a condition of "Super Emergency" has been imposed by the BJP government in the country. All democratic organisations have lost their independence. She had repeatedly urged all the Opposition parties to get united against the saffron party in the recently concluded general elections. However, the grand alliance that was born at the Brigade Parade Ground rally did not take off well because of differences among the allies.
Though the Opposition could not do well in the Lok Sabha election, Banerjee put up a lone battle against BJP's scheme to take away the independence of the institutions.
Earlier, she had alleged that the Election Commission of India was not listening to complaints lodged by the Opposition parties, be it tampering of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) or circulating money by BJP flouting all norms to win votes. She had also alleged that democratic institutions like CBI, DRI etc have lost their credibility and have been used by the BJP to scare the opponents.
Political experts said Banerjee's tweet on the eve of Emergency is an attempt to unite all the like-minded parties and people to put up a strong fight to safeguard the sanctity of the democratic institutions. It also reflects her apprehension that BJP will intensify its control over the institutions because of its numerical supremacy in Parliament.