Can’t compare sedition charges to Emergency: Goa BJP official

There is a difference between the mass arrests made during the Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi and the cases of sedition which are being filed in the country now, Goa BJP general secretary Narendra Sawaikar said on Thursday.

“As far as the sedition charges are concerned, it is up to the states as to how they apply them on a case to case basis. We cannot compare this to the Emergency period. During Emergency, the Congress and the Prime Minister of the time tried to create (an atmosphere of) sedition when it was not prevalent,” Sawaikar told reporters.

“Nearly 250-275 journalists, including senior scribes, were arrested during Emergency. What was their crime apart from expressing their opinion on the government policies?

“It was a mass arrest. There is a difference between mass arrests and sedition (cases), which is linked to specific issues,” the Goa BJP official said while addressing a press conference here on the eve of the 46th anniversary of the Emergency imposed in 1975.

At the presser, the Goa BJP condemned the decision of the then Prime Minister to impose the Emergency, calling it ‘a dark hour in the history of the country orchestrated by the Congress’.