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Winter Session: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley flays Congress on constitutional principles

India's new Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley speaks dur

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday took a veiled dig at the Congress, saying those who imposed Emergency rule in the country were now talking about constitutional principles.

“Fundamental rights were snatched during the Emergency. During the Emergency, the government convinced the Supreme Court that during Emergency people lose the right to life and liberty provided under article 21 (of the constitution),” the BJP leader said in the Rajya Sabha.

“After the Emergency, article 21 was made non-suspendable, which means we are far more safe today. People who supported the Emergency are now talking about constitutionality. People lost the right to live during the Emergency,” he said, adding it was the “greatest challenge to democracy”.

He was speaking in the upper house during a discussion to mark the 125th birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar, the main architect of the constitution.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said in parliament that ideals and principles enshrined in the constitution were “deliberately attacked”.

Talking about Ambedkar, Jaitley said: “Ambedkar is not just the architect of our constitution but also a social reformer.

“Ambedkar fought against social evils. He showed the way to escape social injustice and showed the way to fight discrimination. Democracy has strenghtened over the past 65 years.

“The constitution envisaged by Ambedkar rejected theocracy. It was not anti- or pro-religion. It said that the state will not discriminate on the basis of religion,” said the minister, the leader of the upper house.

IANS