Ahead of the 40th anniversary of the Emergency, the veteran leader had said that the political system of India is still vulnerable to the Emergency like situation and a similar situation cannot be ruled out. The statement has attracted enough attention from various political parties to point their finger towards Prime Minister Modi.
"I don't think anything has been done that gives me the assurance that civil liberties will not be suspended or destroyed again. Not at all," Advani told in an interview to the Indian Express. "Of course, no one can do it easily. But that it cannot happen again, I will not say that. It could be that fundamental liberties are curtailed again," Advani added.
"At the present point of time, the forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the constitutional and legal safeguards, are stronger," he said. The 87-year-old leader said, "I do not see any sign in our polity that assures me, any outstanding aspect of leadership. A commitment to democracy and to all other aspects related to democracy is lacking."
"Today, I do not say that the political leadership is not mature. But kamiyon ke karan, vishwas nahin hota (I don't have faith because of its weaknesses). I don't have the confidence that it (Emergency) cannot happen again," he said.
He said, "It happened despite the constitutional safeguards that were in place. There aren't enough safeguards in India in 2015." "In civil society, we have only seen the Anna Hazare mobilisation for the Lokpal in recent times. But it has disappointed, after raising hopes. The failure of that movement has highlighted that, if an agitation tries to take the form of government, it will not be successful. Of the various institutions that are to be held responsible for a well functioning democracy in India today, the judiciary is more responsible than the others," Gandhinagar MP, Advani, said.
Former deputy PM, said, "The media is more independent today, but does it have a real commitment to democracy and civil liberties I don't know. It is something that must be put to the test."
"The aftermath of the Emergency having been an election in which the party that imposed the Emergency lost very badly, would always be a deterrent for future rulers who think of repeating what was done in the 1970s," he said.
AAP leader Ashutosh said, "He (Advani) clearly visualises that the leadership of Modi and the government of BJP are everyday crushing Indian democracy and creating a situation and ambience where emergency is not far."
Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said, "Today the jury is out. Advaniji is vocal. What he had to say, he has said. It is obvious whom he is talking about, whose government is there, who is the Prime Minister. He knows it. But he is a statesman like leader of the BJP. He did not want to name the Prime Minister. But whoever reads the interview, he / she would understand he is talking about Modi."
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, "Advani is among the senior most leaders of BJP and his concerns should be considered seriously. As far as Emergency like situation is concerned, we are facing it here on a daily basis."
RSS ideologue M G Vaidya said, "I don't feel anything like that. He (Advani) is quite senior in age and experience. So he can talk to Modi. He is in the 'Margdarshak Mandal' of BJP. I don't think he has an intention of sending a message to Modi through this interview."