Lalu supported Congress on emergency, said- Indira Gandhi put us in jail but did not call us traitors

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav on Saturday recalled the 1975-77 Emergency days, saying even though then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had jailed several leaders, she never mistreated them. In a post shared on X, the RJD chief shared his article “The Sangh Silence in 1975”, written by him and journalist Nalin Verma.

Lalu wrote that I was the convener of the steering committee that Jayaprakash Narayan formed to carry forward the movement against the excesses of the Emergency imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. I was in jail for more than 15 months under the Maintenance of Security Act (MISA). He said that I and my colleagues did not know many BJP ministers today speaking about the Emergency. We had not heard of Modi, JP Nadda and some other cabinet colleagues of the Prime Minister who lecture us on the value of freedom today.

He said Indira Gandhi put many of us in jail, but she never mistreated us. Neither she nor her ministers called us “anti-national” or “not patriotic”. They never allowed miscreants to desecrate the memory of Babasaheb Ambedkar, the architect of our Constitution. 1975 is a stain on our democracy but we must not forget who does not respect the opposition in 2024, Lalu said.

On June 25, 1975, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed a 21-month Emergency. It was lifted on March 21, 1977. In the subsequent general elections, Indira Gandhi was voted out of power and the Janata Party government came to power. Both Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi lost the elections from Rae Bareli and Amethi respectively. However, the alliance of disparate parties broke down in 1979 and the Congress returned to power by winning 353 seats in the subsequent general elections. Indira Gandhi once again became Prime Minister and held the post until her assassination in 1984.

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