Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi, the BJP on Friday accused him of "blaming" Indian democracy and its institutions for the Congress' repeated defeat in polls under him and the ongoing ED probe against him in the National Herald case.
Shortly after Gandhi's press conference here, former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Congress leader made "shameful and irresponsible" comments and noted that it was his grandmother and then prime minister Indira Gandhi who had suspended people's democratic rights by imposing Emergency.
The former Congress president had earlier alleged that India is witnessing "death of democracy" and anybody who stands against the government's dictatorship is "viciously attacked".
Slamming him, Prasad said, "Stop demeaning the institutions of India to safeguard your corruption and misdeeds... If people don't listen to you why are you blaming us."
If people saw dictatorship, it was during Emergency when people, including opposition leaders and editors, were jailed, judges superseded and censorship imposed. Indira Gandhi had then spoken about having "committed judiciary," he said.
"Why do you blame democracy when people of India reject you with repeated regularity," he added and asked Gandhi if there is democracy within his party which has some "good leaders" but it is all about the Gandhi family.
Rahul Gandhi had made all kind of allegations against Modi during the 2019 polls as well but people elected him with a bigger mandate, he said.
Raking up the Enforcement Directorate's case against him and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prasad said he must answer as to how Young Indian, a firm in which the two Gandhis have 76 per cent stake, allegedly acquired National Herald's assets worth over Rs 5,000 crore with the investment of only Rs 5 lakh.
The judiciary refused to quash charges against him and others in the case, and he is now blaming institutions, the BJP leader said.
Rahul Gandhi will have to face consequences for what he has done, Prasad said. "You will have to face trial and answer the ED's questions," he said.
The government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been taking strong measures against corruption, and the Congress and the system around it are rattled because democracy has become synonymous with financial irregularities when the opposition party was in power, he alleged.
He noted the assets allegedly acquired by several opposition leaders and their associates through graft have been seized by the ED in different places ranging from Delhi to Mumbai and Kolkata.