NCP leader and Maharashtra minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Jitendra Ahwad has stated that Indira Gandhi had ‘strangulated’ democracy. In a statement that could annoy the alliance partner Congress, Ahwad stated that the former PM had strangulated democracy when she imposed emergency.
As per reports, speaking at a rally in Maharashtra’s Beed, Ahwad was attacking the BJP government in a rally against the CAA and NRC. Former Bombay High Court judge BG Kolse Patil, activists Teesta Setalwad and All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Maulana Abu Talib Rahmani were also present in the rally.
Ahwad stated, “Indira Gandhi had also strangulated democracy, nobody was ready to speak against her. Then the students of Ahmedabad and Patna had started resisting, eventually starting the Jayaprakash Narayan movement that saw her defeated. That history will be repeated in Maharashtra and the country too.”
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As it happens, criticising any former Congress leader offences the Congress, even if the critic mentions facts. Soon after Ahwad’s remarks, NCP’s alliance partner and Maharashtra PWD minister Ashok Chavan shot off a warning to Ahwad, stating that ‘disrespect’ of any kind to their party’s leaders will not be tolerated.
देशाची एकता व अखंडतेसाठी आयुष्य पणाला लावणार्या इंदिराजी गांधी आजही संपूर्ण जगात कणखरता व कर्तबगारीसाठी परिचित आहेत. @Awhadspeaks यांनी वेळीच खुलासा केला ते बरे झाले. तरी मी यासंदर्भात एक नक्कीच सांगेन की, कोणीही आमच्या नेत्यांचा अनादर केला तर चोख प्रत्युत्तर दिले जाईल.
— Ashok Chavan (@AshokChavanINC) January 29, 2020
“Indira Gandhi is known all over the world for her dedication and duty, she had laid down her life for the unity and integrity of the country.” Acknowledging Ahwad’s clarification, he further added, “If anyone disrespects our leaders, a correct answer will be given.”
However, expecting retributions from his new allies, Ahwad soon posted a video singing praises for Indira Gandhi, counting her great deeds. Though the video was posted as an answer for BJP’s Kirit Somaiya, it mentioned that Indira Gandhi did great things for the country and even though she imposed emergency which saw a backlash, he(Ahwad) is a supporter of Indira Gandhi and there can be no comparison between her and Modi-Shah.
इंदिरा गांधी ह्यांच्या असामान्य कर्तुत्वा बद्दल माझ्या मनात प्रचंड आदर आहे.
त्यांनी घेतलेले निर्णय हे क्रांतिकारी होते पण आणिबाणी बद्दल मतमतांतर असू शकतात पण एक सत्य मात्र मी लपवू इच्छित नाही इंदीराजींची आणि मोदी शहांची तुलना होऊ शकत नाही ते जवळ. पास हि पोहचू शकत नाही pic.twitter.com/X97RZK9J9o
— Dr.Jitendra Awhad (@Awhadspeaks) January 29, 2020
The MVA’s alliance government in Maharashtra has been experiencing such war of words and ideological friction almost constantly. Recently, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had angered his Congress partners when he said that Indira Gandhi used to come to Mumbai to ‘meet’ underworld don Karim Lala. Raut had added that during that time, the man for the Mumbai police commissioner’s job used to be selected by these dons.
Raut had later backtracked on his words. Perhaps fearing backlash from the Gandhi family, Raut had soon stated that he has a lot of respect for the former PM and his remarks were distorted.