Advani Takes Potshots At PMNew Delhi, Jan 5: Taking potshots at the Prime Minister, BJP leader L K Advani today said Manmohan Singh had missed an opportunity at a recent programme to “distance” himself from the atrocities inflicted on
New Delhi, Jan 5: Taking potshots at the Prime Minister, BJP leader L K Advani today said Manmohan Singh had missed an opportunity at a recent programme to “distance” himself from the atrocities inflicted on the press and the people during the National Emergency.
Both Singh and Advani were present at a function earlier this week to commemorate the birth centenary of Puran Chandra Gupta, founder of the Jagran newspaper. Gupta had stood up against the Emergency and was jailed for doing so.
A book on Gupta, which was released by the Prime Minister at the function, mentions how he defied Emergency in 1975.
“I do not know if the PM had occasion to glance through this book, or if any one had mentioned to him that the Jagran editors were arrested because they had firmly opposed Emergency.
“If he had been briefed about all this, he would have done a signal service to democracy if he had referred to the facts in his laudatory references to the Jagran founder. By omitting to do so, he has really missed an opportunity to distance himself from the worst assault inflicted on press freedom in the history of independent India!” Advani said today on his blog.
Singh had earlier expressed regret in Parliament over the atrocities forced on Sikhs during the 1984 riots in the aftermath of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination.
Advani, who was one of the prominent leaders jailed during Emergency, has hit out at the Congress often on the issue and on how even press freedom was strangled.
Advani's jibes at Singh have come also in the wake of the latter's comment- made at the Jagran function- that press freedom is a must for growth of Indian democracy.
Singh had said that no controls should be imposed on the media and it should itself engage in self-regulation and devise a mechanism to promote objectivity and curb sensationalism.
“In my opinion, there is a general consensus in our country that no outside control should be imposed on the media,” Singh had said.