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Business News/ Politics / News/  Independence Day 2023: Kharge's absence at Red Fort sparks political exchange, he says, ''Security was so tight...'
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Independence Day 2023: Kharge's absence at Red Fort sparks political exchange, he says, ''Security was so tight...'

Congress president accuses BJP-led government of muzzling opposition, distorting democracy and Constitution. Kharge further alleged that the government is claiming credit for schemes of previous governments just by changing their names.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. (Photo: ANI)Premium
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. (Photo: ANI)

During the 77th Independence Day event at the Red Fort, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge was noticeably absent while Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation. The seat reserved for Mallikarjun Kharge, with his name prominently displayed, remained unoccupied.

From the vantage point of the Red Fort's ramparts, PM Modi took the opportunity to criticize Congress's practices of corruption and ‘Pariwarvaad’ (dynasty politics).

Explaining the reason why he did not attend the Independence Day event at Red Fort, the Congress president said that the security is so tight that they don't let anyone else leave before the PM leaves.

Speaking to reporters, Kharge said, “ The security is so tight that they don't let anyone else leave before the PM leaves...I thought that I will not be able to reach here on time...I thought it better to not go there to the security situation and lack of time."

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday took a jibe at the BJP-led central government and said that some people make it look like the country developed in the past few years. But that is not true.

It is to be further noted that the Congress president delivered a video message wherein, without explicitly mentioning PM Modi, Kharge remarked that certain individuals hold the belief that India's progress has occurred solely in recent years. He asserted, “But that perspective is misguided."

Also Read: Independence Day 2023: ‘India will become one of world's top 3 economies in next 5 years', PM Modi at Red Fort

"Some people make it look like the country developed in the past few years. But that is not true. When the British left the country, the situation was as such that not even a needle used to be made in the country. Then Pandit Nehru took major initiatives, set up steel plants, made dams, established institutions like IIT, IIM, AIIMS. Indira Gandhi-Lal Bahadur Shashtri bring in the green revolution, made India self-reliant," Kharge said.

Congress leader Pawan Khera taking to X (formerly known as Twitter) asked, “Does the PM realise that his route arrangements would have made it impossible for Kharge Sahib to reach the Party HQ for the Flag hoisting function in time?"

As reported by ANI, Kharge said, “Opposition MPs in Parliament being suspended. When I stand up to speak in Parliament, my microphone gets muted."

"New tactics are being adopted to suppress the voice of the opposition. Raids by CBI, ED, Income Tax are happening, Election Commission is being weakened. Efforts are being made to suppress the voice of opposition MPs in Parliament by suspending them. Someone's mic is going off or someone's words are getting expunged. Privilege motions are being brought," the Congress chief said.

Also Read: PM Modi announces mantra for India's progress ‘reform, perform, and transform’

Kharge stressed, “It pains me to say that today, democracy, Constitution and autonomous institutions - all three are in great danger."

Noting that democracy and the Constitution are the soul of the country, he said on the occasion of this Independence Day, "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 and fraternity".

"Democracy is being torn to shreds by distorting the old constitutional systems that have been running for decades, giving new dimensions to dictatorship. And now, they are trying to create history by renaming old laws, which provided stability and peace to the country," he said.

Taking a dig at the prime minister, he said, "First, they talked about ‘acche din’, then, they talked about ‘New India’, And now they talk about 'Amrit Kaal'. Isn't this a name change to hide his failures."

Referring to Manipur, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, where there have been incidents of violence in the recent past, he said be it any corner of the country - "wherever there is injustice, the Congress party will establish justice."

Also Read: Independence Day 2023: ‘Nation is with Manipur’, says PM Modi at Red Fort

Kharge further alleged that the government is claiming credit for schemes of previous governments just by changing their names.

In a post in Hindi on 'X', he said, "Happy Independence Day to all of you and congratulations. Democracy and Constitution are the soul of our country. We take this 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 and harmony. Jai Hind."

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 15 Aug 2023, 11:33 AM IST
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