New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) Union Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday that despite inheriting the anti-Congress legacy of late socialist Ram Manohar Lohia, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav is always willing to do business with the Congress.
In the third and final part of his blog “The Emergency Revisited”, he also took a swipe at the Left parties saying that while the CPI was an unabashed supporter of the Emergency imposed in June, 1975, the CPI-M was theoretically opposed to it but was not an active participant in the struggle against it.
Writing on the role of political parties then, the BJP leader said only Congress-O, the Socialist Parties, Swatantra Party, the Jan Sangh and the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) were the main participants in the Satyagraha and protest against the Emergency.
He said to him the Lohia socialists and their post-Emergency evolution has shown a very curious trend. “Lohia was the creator of the slogan in the early 60s ‘Congress Hatao Desh Bachao’ (Remove Congress, save country). His legacy was represented by George Fernandes, Madhu Limaye and Raj Narain, who were all consistently anti-Congress.
“Today that legacy has been inherited by Mulayam Singh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh and substantially by Nitish Kumar in Bihar. While the trace of anti-Congressism is visible in both, the party formed by Mulayam Singh Yadav is always willing to do business with the Congress,” he said.
He said he always has serious doubts whether those who represent “the political DNA of Lohia and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru can in the long run ever work together”.
His remarks come in the context of efforts among opposition parties to put up common candidates against NDA in some states.
The BJP leader also said India’s Left parties have always been a puzzle to him.
“The CPI was an unashamed supporter of the Emergency. Its political line was that Emergency was a war on fascism. Though theoretically the CPI-M was opposed to the Emergency and critical of it, it was not an active participant in the struggle against the Emergency. Only two of its MPs were arrested.
“Its Polit-bureau members, Central Committee members and students’ leaders were, by and large, not put in detention,” he said.
He also recalled senior BJP leader L.K. Advani’s words to Delhi media after Emergency “when asked to bend, you chose to crawl”.
Jaitley also noted that the Morarji Desai-led Janata Party government undid a lot of damage that the Emergency had done so that nobody experiments such dictatorship in future.
He said though he believed it is impossible for anyone in India to repeat the Emergency, “but as the famous advice goes that democracy lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no Constitution can save it and no judge can protect it.”