PANAJI: Lambasting the Narendra Modi government, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar said that former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi had imposed emergency in national interest, within the Constitutional framework, while Narendra Modi government has an ongoing and undeclared emergency, against the interest of the country, considering the destruction of Constitutional and democratic institutions in the country today.”

He was speaking at the function organised by the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee to observe the 103rd birth anniversary of first and only woman former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi at Congress House, Panaji.

After paying rich tributes to the departed leader, Chodankar said, Indiraji worked for ‘Garibi Hatao’ while Modiji is working towards ‘Garib Ko Hatao’. Anyone will come to know about this facts if they see how the jobs are destroyed, businesses along with economy collapsed.”

“Indiraji carried out nationalisation for national growth and to bring equality. Now Modiji is aggressively promoting privatisation by handing over national assets to private companies to promote his friends.” Chodankar pointed out.

Leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat said, “Indira Gandhi is still loved by the masses due to her concern showed for the poors, and she is still remembered as `Amma.’ We must emulate her strong leadership qualities. Once she is determined to achieve something, she will not bother who is with her or not, and face all hurdles. Today we must not be bothered about how many MLAs and leaders are leaving for selfish interests, but focus on our goal to expose BJP and bring Congress party to the power.”

Former Chief Minister and Poriem MLA Pratapsinh Rane said, “Indira Gandhi played a key role in maintaining national integrity at the cost of her life. She protected our boundaries strongly. I feel proud to have had the opportunity to work with her and contribute for society.”

GPCC vice president M K Shaikh said, “Once Indiraji took a decision in the interest of the nation, she never looked back”. He cited her decisions of abolition of privy purses, nationalisation of banks and creation of independent Bangladesh. Prominent among those who spoke include former Deputy Speaker Shambhu Bhau Bandekar, former Minister Chandrakant Chodankar, former Mapusa chairperson Sudhir Kandolkar, Rudolf Fernandes, Arsenio D’Silva, and other.

GPCC general secretary Vijay Pai compered the programme and spokesman Tulio de Souza proposed a vote of thanks.

Prominent among those present included former MLA Victor Gonsalves, GPCC vice present Sankalp Amonkar, general secretaries Amarnath Panjikar and Janardhan Bhandari, South Goa District Congress Committee president Joe Dias, Goa Pradesh Youth Congress Committee president Varad Mardolkar, Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee president Pratima Coutinho, Gurudas Natekar and Abhijit Desai.