Advani on Emergency: Opposition says fears valid

New Delhi, June 18: BJP patriarch L K Advani's statement that "forces that can crush democracy are stronger" now created a buzz in political circles leading to speculation that it was a barb aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi but RSS dismissed it while Congress and other BJP rivals shared his concern.

"At the present point of time, the forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the constitutional and legal safeguards, are stronger," Advani told Indian Express in an interview.

Emergency: Opposition supports Advani

In the years since the Emergency in 1975-77, he said, "I don't think anything has been done that gives the assurance that civil liberties will not be suspended or destroyed again. Not at all."

"Of course, one can do it easily...But that it cannot happen again--I will not say that. It could be that fundamental liberties are curtailed again," the former Deputy Prime Minister, who is now a member of the BJP's Margadarshak Mandal, and was incarcerated during the Emergency along with a number of opposition stalwarts then.

Advani also said that he did not see any sign in the polity that assures him any outstanding aspect of leadership with a commitment to democracy and to all other aspects related to democracy is lacking. "Today, I do not say that the political leadership is not mature.

I don't have faith because of its weaknesses. I don't have the confidence that it (Emergency) cannot happen again." Commenting on Advani's remarks, RSS ideologue M G Vaidya said Advani is a member of the BJP's Magadarshak Mandal and he did not think he was sending a message to Modi.

"I don't feel anything like that. He (Advani) is quite senior in age and experience. So he can talk to Modi. He is in the 'Margdarshak Mandal' of BJP. I don't think he has an intention of sending a message to Modi through this interview."


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