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Business News/ News / India/  Rajnath Singh recalls Emergency imposed during Indira Gandhi govt: ‘No parole to attend my mother’s last rites'
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Rajnath Singh recalls Emergency imposed during Indira Gandhi govt: ‘No parole to attend my mother’s last rites'

BJP leader Rajnath Singh was 24 years old when the Indira Gandhi government imposed Emergency in June 1975 and he was appointed as convenor for Mirzapur-Sonbhadra during the JP movement against Emergency which continued till March 1977.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh. (ANI)Premium
Defence minister Rajnath Singh. (ANI)

Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh spoke about the time when he was jailed for 18 months and was not even granted parole to attend his mother's last rites during the ‘emergency’ imposed by the Sonia Gandhi-led Congress government in India as he hit out at the Opposition over charges of ‘dictatorship' leveled against ruling BJP. 

To recall, BJP leader Rajnath Singh was 24 years old when the Indira Gandhi government imposed Emergency in June 1975 and he was appointed as convenor for Mirzapur-Sonbhadra during the JP movement against Emergency which continued till March 1977. 

“I was jailed as we were opposing Emergency. We use to agitate. We created awareness among people, how Emergency is dangerous and reflects dictatorial tendency," Rajnath Singh told ANI. 

"I was newly married and had returned home after working the whole day. I was told the police had come. They told me there is a warrant. It was around midnight and was taken to jail. I was kept in solitary confinement," he said.

He said people from several political parties were arrested during Emergency. “Our moral was high. I used to raise slogans. Around 250 people in the compound responded. We raised the slogan: taanashahi nahi chalegi," the minister added. 

There were no books for inmates and they were served Dal in brass utensil along with chapati in hands, he remembered while saying the arrested leaders were allowed to roan around in the compound for some time. 

"... Maybe I had a good temperament so I was kept in jail for so long (laughs). When I was being transferred from Mirzapur jail to Naini Central Jail, there were several policemen at the platform. My mother was also there and told me, whatever happens, do not apologise...(hearing that) police people started crying," he added.

After spending a year in jail, his mother asked if he would be released but Rajnath Singh's cousin informed his mother that Emergency has been extended by one more year. On learning this, she suffered a brain haemorrhage and died after being hospitalised for 27 days, the BJP leader said. 

"I could not come, ...I did not get released, did not get parole. I got my head shaved in the jail, the last rites were performed by my brothers I could not reach...and imagine they make allegations of dictatorship against us, they do not look within," he said. 

“I was again sent to jail as I started mobilising people against Emergency. Parole had not ended but I was sent (back to jail). There was a spirit to go to any extent against Emergency. Disappointment and despair never arose in my mind. It has never happened. I believe in Almighty, I have full faith in Him, if He gives problems, I accept; if He gives joy, I accept it too," he recalled. 

 

(With ANI inputs)

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Published: 12 Apr 2024, 07:15 AM IST
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