For the record: Lok Sabha has been forced to be accountable to Indira Gandhihttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/for-the-record-lok-sabha-has-been-forced-to-be-accountable-to-indira-gandhi/

For the record: Lok Sabha has been forced to be accountable to Indira Gandhi

In a letter to the speaker, Sharad Yadav explained why he was resigning as an MP, on March 14, 1976. Excerpts:

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There is a race in the Congress over who is more able to shamefully praise the black deeds of Indira Gandhi.

I am resigning as an MP from the Lok Sabha effective March 18, 1976, as that is when the tenure of this Lok Sabha was to end. The opposition spent the last nine months behind bars and we were not able to protest or vote against the undemocratic bid to extend the term of this Lok Sabha. This is all due to the imposition of the Emergency. Parliament should benefit the people. But Indira Gandhi is using it to save her chair, unseat governments, arrest innocents and limit the rights of the judiciary.

On the one hand, the government says there is no breach of peace or violence in the country and, on the other, it has imposed Emergency. The government should call elections to actually test its claim that people support the Emergency. But the government would not do this, as it has realised what its future is. So, in these circumstances, I, who was elected in opposition to the Congress from a traditional Congress
seat by a margin of 90,000 votes, to truly represent popular sentiment, feel it my duty to resign and oppose the Emergency — not just by voice or in writing, but oppose the extension of the term of this Lok Sabha and escape from the sin of the murder of democracy for which Indira Gandhi is responsible.

I am sad and surprised when I read the papers and find that there is the British parliament, where Labour Party MPs have the courage to oppose policies of their own party. On the other hand, there is this House where, for salaries and a few facilities, the MPs are party to the murder of democracy in the land of Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan. I recall that Hitler was able to erase the House and become a dictator because he was first able to establish dictatorship within his party. That is exactly what, 40 years on, Indira Gandhi is playing at. Congressmen think they are accountable not to the people, country or Lok Sabha, but to Indira Gandhi. A minister like Bansi Lal says he is answerable to Indira Gandhi.

There is a race in the Congress over who is more able to shamefully praise the black deeds of Indira Gandhi. It is now not the
government or executive that is accountable to the legislature, but the Lok Sabha that has been forced to be accountable to the
government and Indira Gandhi. So much centralisation of power is the murder of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals. The government is levelling serious accusations against the country’s biggest patriot, Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan, and the biggest sympathiser of workers, George Fernandes. And its reply to these charges cannot even be presented in the Lok Sabha, nor printed. Is this democratic? No, it is not.

I am confident that fascism will not survive here. Indira Gandhi, in the name of the Constitution, is sitting on top of it. Behind her chair lurks the ghost of Hitler, the tsar speaks through her voice. Her hands are soiled with the blood of the murder of democracy. I believe this is worse than the fascists who have emerged so far, worse than the Hitlers and the Mussolinis.

I am a satyagrahi of Total Revolution and will be one even after my death, whether in jail or outside.

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This letter was written from Indore District Jail. Yadav is a JD(U) MP in the Rajya Sabha