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Congress’ KC Venugopal writes to Speaker Om Birla on ‘Emergency’ reference in Lok Sabha, calls it ‘deeply shocking’, ‘unprecedented’

"I am writing this in the context of a very grave matter impacting upon the very credibility of the institution of Parliament. Yesterday, that is 26 June 2024, at the time of offering felicitations on your election as Speaker Lok Sabha, there was a general camaraderie in the House as such occasions generate," he said in the letter.

On Thursday (27th June), Congress General Secretary in-charge and MP KC Venugopal wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla calling the mention of the Emergency in his acceptance address on Wednesday “deeply shocking” and “unprecedented”.

According to a letter released by the Congress and sent by Venugopal to the Speaker, “Making of such a political reference from the Chair is unprecedented in the annals of history of Parliament.”

“I am writing this in the context of a very grave matter impacting upon the very credibility of the institution of Parliament. Yesterday, that is 26 June 2024, at the time of offering felicitations on your election as Speaker Lok Sabha, there was a general camaraderie in the House as such occasions generate,” he said in the letter.

“However, what followed thereafter, which is a reference from the Chair after your acceptance speech, in regard to the declaration of Emergency half a century ago, is deeply shocking. Making of such a political reference from the Chair is unprecedented in the annals of the history of Parliament. This coming from the Chair as one of the ‘first duties’ from a newly elected Speaker assumes even graver proportions,” he added.

“I, on behalf of the Indian National Congress, express our profound concern and anguish over this travesty of Parliamentary traditions,” he said.

On Wednesday (June 26th), Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla condemned the ‘dictatorial’ proclamation of Emergency that was announced by the previous Congress government led by then PM Indira Gandhi in 1975. He described it as the black chapter in India’s history. He also asked the House to observe 2 minutes of silence to mourn the ‘murder of democracy’, a day after the country entered the 50th year of Emergency that started in June 1975.  

Addressing the Lok Sabha, Om Birla said, “This house condemns the Emergency that was imposed in 1975 in the strongest terms. We also laud the determination of all those who staunchly opposed the Emergency, struggled, and performed the duty of safeguarding India’s democracy. 25th June 1975 will always be remembered as a black chapter in Indian history. On that day, then PM Indira Gandhi imposed an Emergency in the country and made a major blow to the constitution drafted by Dr BR Ambedkar.”

The Lok Sabha speaker further slammed the erstwhile Congress-led government for imposing dictatorship on India. He also highlighted the excesses which were committed during the Emergency period.

Om Birla asserted, “Our young generation should know about the black phase of democracy. During the dark phase of the Emergency, scores of people lost their lives at the hands of Congress’ dictatorial government. We (the house) will observe 2 minutes of silence in their honor.”  

Notably, the Lok Sabha speaker made these remarks after PM Modi introduced ministers to the LS. 

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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