Congress believed in insulting institutions, its desire for power cost nation greatly: PM Modi

One family’s desire for power cost the nation so greatly’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday reviving the dynastic politics attack on Congress in the midst of polls and recalled late Indira Gandhi calling for a “committed judiciary” to blunt the Congress attack on his government of undermining institutions. Reuters file photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people on Wednesday to think wisely before casting their vote and attacked the Congress, alleging that the grand old party believed in insulting institutions, including Parliament, judiciary, media and the armed forces, when it was in power.

“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,” he wrote on his blog. He said eternal vigilance remains the price of liberty. “Think wisely: From the press to parliament. From soldiers to free speech. From the constitution to the courts. Institutional insult is the Congress way.”

“Everyone is wrong, only the Congress is correct,” he said, taking a dig at the principal opposition party. He said his government has changed things as it puts institutions above everything else. “India has seen that whenever dynastic politics has been powerful, institutions have taken a severe beating,” he said. He said the present Lok Sabha had a “phenomenal 85-per cent” productivity.

“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,” he said and asked which were the “forces disrupting the House and why.” Referring to freedom of expression, he alleged dynastic parties have never been comfortable with a free and vibrant press. “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. Just a few days ago, 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”. “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. The CBI, he alleged, became the Congress Bureau of Investigation and was used time and again on political parties just before crucial parliamentary votes. “Tensions were deliberately created in organisations such as IB and RAW. 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.

He was referring 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. “The NAC was created as a body parallel to the Prime Minister’s Office. And then, Congress talks about institutions?” he asked. Referring to defence preparedness, he alleged that Congress has always seen the defence sector as a source of income which is why the armed forces never got the respect from the Congress that they deserved.

“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.” “When a top Congress leader calls the Army chief a ‘gunda’ and is subsequently promoted in the party rank and file, it shows their scant regard for the forces,” he wrote.

Continuing his attack, he said, “When our forces strike at terrorist elements, Congress leaders accuse the political leadership of doing ‘Khoon Ki Dalali.’ When our air warriors strike at terrorists, Congress questions that too.” In an opaque reference to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra’s appearance before investigating agencies, he said, “The sense of entitlement can be seen in their conduct towards routine legal processes. At present, their top leadership is on bail vis-a-vis a major scam. When the authorities seek to question them on their dealings, they do not even bother to reply.” He also accused the Congress of lacking “internal democracy”, saying if a leader dares to dream to head that party, he or she is shunted out.