Lucknow, Apr 6 (PTI) Taking a dig at the Congress, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said the party that imposed Emergency in the country and curbed the fundamental rights of the citizens was now pointing fingers at the current regime over freedom of expression.

“The party that imposed Emergency and curbed the fundamental rights of the people is now questioning us on freedom of expression. They followed ‘parivarvad’ (dynasty politics), adopted an autocratic way of functioning and put opposition leaders behind bars. They are now raising questions…it is astonishing,” she told a press conference here on the occasion of the BJP’s foundation day.

Asked about the industrial defence corridor in Uttar Pradesh, Sitharaman said, “Officers of the ministry are surveying the area. Very soon, a body of small and medium enterprises will be formed and it will be given some order.” Stating that the saffron party’s popularity was on the rise, the defence minister said, “There was a time when the BJP had only two MPs. Now, we are in power in 21 states thanks to the ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ mantra of our government.” On the occasion, when asked about some Dalit BJP MPs’ dissenting voice in the media, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, “Our government did not discriminate against anyone. Whatever happened during the Bharat Bandh, action is being taken on the basis of video footage.” The state had recently witnessed violence during a “Bharat bandh” called by Dalit outfits.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.