Himanta Sarma also said that the resistance by opposition political leaders, media, lawyers and other sections of society has “ensured that no regime can ever think of imposing such restrictions again”.
Guwahati News: As the Assam government on Sunday honoured those who had resisted the Emergency imposed by then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1975, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma rued that the president, who had signed the ordinance, and the then Congress national chief were from the state.
He also said that the resistance by opposition political leaders, media, lawyers and other sections of society has “ensured that no regime can ever think of imposing such restrictions again”.
Himanta Sarma was speaking at a programme organised to felicitate 300 ‘Loktantra senanis’ and their relatives here.
“The president who signed the order was an Assamese. It was the first time that our state had gifted the nation its president, but with his hand, the order for Emergency was signed,” Himanta Sarma said, referring to then President of the country Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed.
Emergency was imposed on this day in 1975 by the then Congress government led by prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Then all India Congress Committee chief was Debakanta Baruah, another Assamese, whose ‘India is Indira and Indira is India’ statement has gone down in history, the Chief Minister said.
While the Emergency was a “dark period in the country’s history”, the “warriors of democracy” fought against it so hard and resolutely that no regime can ever think of imposing such restrictions again”, Himanta Sarma said.
Taking a swipe at the Congress leadership now, the BJP leader claimed that the grand old party, which had led the Independence movement under Mahatma Gandhi, “turned into a family-centric one since Indira Gandhi’s tenure”.
He maintained that “her decision to impose the Emergency was merely due to her desire to cling to power”.
Lauding the role of opposition leaders, media, advocates and other sections of people in resisting the Emergency, Sarma said his government has decided to honour the sacrifice of those from the state during that period.
“Our cabinet had taken a decision to recognise the contribution of ‘fighters of democracy’. We will be giving a monthly pension of ₹ 15,000 to those ‘Loktantra senanis’ who are still alive or to their wives or unmarried daughters in case of the death of the persons concerned. Ninety-one meet such criteria for pension,” Himanta Sarma said.
The list of 300 names was drawn on the basis of records showing imprisonment of more than 15 days in connection to cases resisting the Emergency.
Himanta Sarma also said that if any deserving person has been left out of the government list, their names will also be included later.
Source : syndicated feed
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