New Delhi: Congress committed a "historical blunder" by imposing the Emergency on June 25, 1975, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today, while attributing it as the "most important" reason behind "shrinking base" of the party.
"Congress committed a historical blunder by imposing the Emergency on June 25, 1975. Now, the party is shrinking and its base is sliding. There are other reasons for it but the Emergency served as the most important reason and the party is still paying its price," he said after paying tributes to the prisoners of Emergency rule.
Congress, which had its governments in many states, has now been "swept away" from the plains and confined to a few states in the mountains, he said.
Attacking Congress for "limiting" itself to "repeating" Mahatma Gandhi's name, Singh claimed the "dreams" of Gandhi were being realised by BJP.
"Congress used to repeat the name of Gandhiji and claimed to be following his path. If the working of Congress and BJP is compared, one would conclude that Congress has merely taken the name of Gandhiji while BJP is realising his ideals," the minister said.
Singh said that Mahatma Gandhi had suggested "disbanding" of Congress after Independence as he felt that the party may be "politically misused" but Congressmen did not accept it.
"Now the people of India are fulfilling his (Gandhi's) wish," he said while pointing to "shrinking base of Congress".
Recalling the extremes committed during the Emergency under the Indira Gandhi rule, the Home Minister said that democracy faced no danger in current times and will thrive as long as India exists.
"As long as India exists, democracy will thrive. No power in the world can eradicate it because the concept of 'Samagra Bharat' cannot be conceived without democracy," he said.
Singh said "contempt" of democracy will punish the offender by wiping it out from the political arena.
"Indian society doesn't tolerate such historical blunder and we need to understand this," he said.
The senior BJP leader also paid homage to Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherji and credited him with playing an "important role" in the "integration" of Jammu and Kashmir with the country.
Terming the PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir as a feat which was "unthinkable" before, he expressed happiness over the victory of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Ananatnag Assembly bypoll in the state.