New Delhi:- On the occasion of Independence Day, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday hoisted the Tricolour at the party headquarters here and took a shot at the Centre saying that democracy and the Constitution were facing grave danger.
Also present at the Congress headquarters were senior party leaders Rahul Gandhi, Meira Kumar, Ambika Soni, Salman Khurshid, as well as other members and workers.
Addressing the attendants after hoisting the flag, Kharge said: “Nation building is a continuous process and our freedom fighters as well as our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru through their contribution have fulfilled the aspirations.”
“But nowadays few people project in such way that no development was taking place. But that is not the case. When the British left India, there was nothing left and we were not capable of even manufacturing a needle,” the Congress leader said in an apparent jibe at he BJP and Prime MInister Narendra Modi.
Kharge said that Nehru had established steel plants, created public sector units, cretaed employment opportunities for the youth of the nation.
“He also established IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, space research institute ISRO and laid the foundation of atomic research in the country,” the Congress President said.
He also hailed the role of late Prime Ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi for the green revolution in the country and for ensuring food supplies in the country.
Kharge also hailed the role of Indira Gandhi for changing the map of the world by creating Bangladesh.
The Congress leader then highlighted the role of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for his contribution in Information and telecommunication sector and for bringing telecton revolution in the country.
He also said that several accords like Assam Accord, Mizoram Accord, Shillong Accord and several others were signed for peace in the country.
Kharge further highlighted the opening of the Indian economy during the tenure of P.V. Narsimha Rao for the economic reforms which strengthened the economy of the country.
“Today it pains me to say that democracy, the Constitution and the institutions are facing grave danger. In Parliament, opposition members are being suspended and their voices are suppressed. And today people say that we are strengthening democracy,” he said slamming the government.
“When I rise in Parliament to speak, my mic is switched off. This has been going on whereas we portray being the biggest democracy. Democracy and the Constitution are our soul. And we take a pledge today that for peace, to protect democracy, COnstitution we will save the country,” he added.
Kharge skips I-Day celebrations at Red Fort
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday skipped the 77th Independence Day celebrations at the iconic Red Fort, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation.
The senior Congress leader, however, extended warm wishes to the people of the country through a video message.
On the occasion, the Congress chief in a veiled attack on the BJP-led Central government, accused it of suppressing the voice of the Opposition.
“Happy Independence Day to all of you. Today, democracy and constitution are the soul of our country. We take a pledge that we will uphold the freedom of democracy and constitution for the unity and integrity of the country, for love and brotherhood, for harmony,” Kharge said.
Attacking the BJP, the Congress chief said: “Today,democracy,constitution and institutions, all are in great danger. New tactics are being used to suppress the voice of the Opposition. Raids by Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax are carried out. The Election Commission is being weakened.”
In an apparent reference to suspension of Opposition MPs, including Rahul Gandhi, which was restored later following the Supreme Court’s judgement staying his conviction in a 2019 defamation case, Kharge said: “Efforts are being made to suppress the voice of Opposition MPs in the Parliament by suspending them. Someone’s mic is turning off or someone’s words are getting expunged.Privilege motions are being brought.”
On the occasion, he also highlighted the works of the former Prime Ministers, including Jawaharlal Nehru.
“These days some people express that India’s progress has happened only in the last few years (of the BJP government). Their thinking is wrong,” Kharge said as he mentioned that AIIMS, IIT, IIM and other institutes were built by Nehru.
Meanwhile, Congress MP Manickam Tagore while referring to Kharge skipping the Independence Day celebrations said in a tweet: “When Lok Sabha Opposition leader suspended..When MPs are suspended for indefinite period…When Opposition leaders speeches expunged if we mention Adani .When Mikes are switched off ..What’s else we can do ?We celebrate Independence Day with people.”