Bharatiya Janata Party president JP Nadda on 26 October lashed out against the Indian National Congress(INC) for alleging that freedom of speech under the current dispensation and democracy is at a crossroads.
In a series of tweets, Nadda accused the INC of disrespecting the Prime Minister’s office and of double-speak on the issue of freedom of expression.
He said the INC can never pontificate about freedom of speech as they have shown contempt against dissenting voices for decades. “…We saw glimpses of it during the emergency. Later on, the Rajiv Gandhi government made a brazen attempt to weaken press freedom. Free press rattles INC,” he tweeted.
Nadda went on to say if anyone wants to see a laboratory of usage of brute state power, troubling opponents, curbing freedom of speech in trademark INC style, they should see the working of the INC blessed Maharashtra government. “…Except governing, they are doing everything else,” he tweeted.
The BJP leader’s comments were a response to INC president Sonia Gandhi‘s piece in the newspaper where she wrote about the fundamental right of freedom of expression being systematically suspended through suppression and intimidation.
“Many institutions that are meant to uphold the rights of citizens and society at large have been co-opted or supported. The Indian state now diverts attention from the real problems of the people by pronouncing bogus threats to ‘national security’ everywhere,” Gandhi wrote.
In response the BJP hit back by claiming that the INC has been misleading people and despite their “lies”, the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi continue to receive support from the masses.
“One dynasty’s deep personal hatred against a person who was born in poverty and became prime minister is historic. Equally historic is the love people of India have showered upon PM Narendra Modi. More Congress is lies and heat increases, the more people will support PM Modi!” Nadda said.
Nadda criticised INC MP Rahul Gandhi for burning the PM’s effigy in Punjab during a protest against the recently framed farm rules.
“The Rahul Gandhi-directed drama of burning PM’s effigy in Punjab is shameful but not unexpected. After all, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has NEVER respected the office of the PM. This was seen in the institutional weakening of the PM’s authority during the UPA years of 2004-2014,” he said.
While the INC has accused the BJP of being anti-Dalit and failing to curb crimes against women, Nadda responded that if there is any party whose conduct reeks of disgust it is the INC. “…Atrocities against SC/ST communities are at an all-time high in Rajasthan, women are unsafe in Rajasthan as well as Punjab, and the Punjab ministers are committing scholarship scams.”