The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today dug up details of ordinances issued by Congress regimes in the past to hit back at it for its attack on Narendra Modi government and wondered if the party will brand Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi as “dictators”.
Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu, however, added that the government will try to address the opposition’s concerns over ordinances issued by it when they come up for Parliament’s approval during the next session.
Attacking Congress President Sonia Gandhi for her remarks in the CWC meeting yesterday that Narendra Modi government had ‘dictatorial tendencies’, Naidu said if their political adversaries seek to stall their development agenda, they cannot remain “helpless”.
As many as 195 ordinances were issued by Indira Gandhi government and 70 by Nehru’s, the first Prime Minister, he said.
“Sonia Gandhi should clarify if Nehru was a dictator or a democrat. How does she describe Indira Gandhi? Was she a dictator?” Naidu told reporters.
During 1971-77, Indira Gandhi issued a record 99 ordinances at a “strike rate” of two ordinances every three months, he said. The Rajiv Gandhi government issued 35 ordinances. All these regimes enjoyed big mandate, he said.
Even the United Front government supported by the Congress and the Left issued 77 ordinances during their reign between 96-98, he said.
Dismissing objections raised by Congress against the land ordinance, Naidu said the government was “compelled” to issue an ordinance because opposition “blocked” proceedings in Parliament and “did not allow” Rajya Sabha to work.
“They (opposition) have hurt the people. To take development forward we were compelled to issue the ordinance. It addresses the lacuna of the previous law and improves upon its other measures,” Naidu said, claiming industrialisation had completely stalled due to the law passed by the UPA.
The law was making it “impossible” to acquire land and one chief minister after another chief minister demanded amendment in it, he said.
“If they have concerns, we can certainly take it up in Parliament,” he said.