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Aiyer's advocacy of Emergency to be poll issue - The Observer

Observer Political Bureau ()
November 21, 1998

Title: Aiyer's advocacy of Emergency to be poll issue
Author: Observer Political Bureau
Publication: The Observer
Date: November 21, 1998

The BJP has decided to make Congress' 'defence of Emergency' an
election issue and has directed its cadres to make enlargements
of press reports quoting Congress spokesperson Mani Shankar
Aiyer to that effect.

"We have managed to provoke the Congress into defending the
indefensible," BJP General Secretary and in-charge of the
party's electoral preparations in Delhi M Venkaiah Naidu told
newsmen on Friday.

Coming out of a review meeting of the strategy and campaign, Mr
Naidu said that this was one inclusion that the party thought
would improve its chances in the polls.

He added that he had issued the necessary instructions to party
election managers to procure all press reports on Congress'
defence of the Emergency and distribute them across the Capital.
This could also be done in other States, another BJP leader
said.

The BJP would win in Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, BJP
Vice-President Krishanlal Sharma confidently declared to
newsmen. Charging the Congress with approaching the voters with
a negative campaign, the BJP leader challenged it to secure
votes on the basis of past performance. The Congress should be
taught a lesson, Mr Sharma said, reminding the people of the
atrocities committed during the Emergency.

"And the Congress is proud of the Emergency, to come out of
which the entire country fought and thousands of people made
lots of sacrifices to regain their fundamental freedom that was
suspended during Emergency," the BJP leader said.

He went on to charge the CPI and the CPM with working in tandem
with the Congress and said that there was a nexus between the
two political formations to secure their respective political
interests.

Mr Sharma said that the Congress directly or indirectly
supported the Marxist Government in Calcutta, which in return
had extended help and cooperation to the Congress at the Centre.

He also challenged Sonia Gandhi to clarify her own as well as
her party's stand on the Emergency, Vande Mataram and the
Saraswati Vandana. CPM General Secretary HS Surjeet should also
do the same, he added.

In a written press statement circulated at the daily press
briefing, the BJP said that the shameless defence of Emergency,
during which monstrous atrocities were committed against the
nation and the people, had let the cat out of the bag.

The nation is ashamed of this Congress-inflicted black spot on
the country's democratic track, the BJP leader said, adding "But
the Congress, which continues to dance to the tune of a
discredited dynasty, is proud of the fact that Emergency was
imposed to perpetuate the tyranny of dynastic rule and demolish
democratic institutions. It is only to be expected that
Congressmen like the AICC spokesperson, whose political cause is
born out of slavery to the dynasty, will justify the rape of
democracy as happened during the Emergency," he said.


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