NEW DELHI : Terming the Emergency that was imposed by former prime minister Indira Gandhi a “mistake”, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said what happened during that period was “wrong”, but it was fundamentally different from the current scenario as the Congress at no point attempted to capture the country’s institutional framework.
In a conversation with Kaushik Basu, professor in the Cornell University in the US and India’s former chief economic advisor, Gandhi said he is all for internal democracy in the Congress, which fought for India’s independence, gave the country its Constitution and stood for equality.
Asked about his views on the Emergency, he said, “I think that was a mistake. Absolutely, that was a mistake. And my grandmother (Indira Gandhi) said as much.”
Asked about Indira Gandhi announcing elections at the end of the Emergency and Pranab Mukherjee telling Basu later that she did so as she thought she might lose and wanted to put that to test, the former Congress chief said there is a fundamental difference between what happened during the Emergency, which “was wrong”, and what is happening in the country now.
“The Congress party at no point attempted to capture India’s institutional framework and frankly, the Congress party does not even have that capability. Our design does not allow us that and even if we want, we cannot do it,” he said.