27/11/2015 1:42 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Those Who Talk Of Tolerance Snatched The Right To Life During Emergency, Says Arun Jaitley

Screenshot/Rajya Sabha TV

NEW DELHI -- Opening a special discussion on the Constitution in the Rajya Sabha on the second day of the Winter Session, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took digs at the Congress Party, and compared the 1975 Emergency imposed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi government to Hitler's Germany.

Raking up the debate on "intolerance vs tolerance," Jaitley said, "Those who talk of tolerance snatched the right to life during the Emergency."

When some opposition members protested that there was no comparison between "growing intolerance" now and the Emergency back then, Jaitley shot back, "Of course there is no comparison. It is the difference between a mouse and a molehill."

"Today, we are far more safe and far more secular," he said.

During the Lok Sabha debate on Thursday, Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi ridiculed the Modi government. "There cannot be a bigger joke than those who never had faith in the Constitution nor had they participated in its drafting, are now swearing by it and are laying claim to it," she said.

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Jaitley today gave a point-by-point rebuttal to the Gandhi's allegations.

"During the 1970s, one of the biggest challenges we faced was Article 21 (of the Constitution)-- which was suspended. The citizens of India had lost the right to life and liberty. This was dictactorship at its worst. The biggest right is the right to life," he said.

Jaitley then went on to list the events which led to Adolf Hitler's dictatorship in Germany, comparing it to Indira Gandhi's leadership in the country. "We need to be reminded of our history," he said.

Taking a dig at Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, and his comment on the rising intolerance in the country, Jaitley said, "Today if someone comes in front of the cameras and gives an irresponsible comment, it becomes an issue of intolerance."

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