Congress Slams BJP Over Its Rajasthan Candidate’s ‘Samvidhanik Badlav’ Remarks

 The Congress on Tuesday claimed that after Anantkumar Hegde, another leader of the ruling BJP, Jyoti Mirdha, has openly said that the party’s aim is to change the Constitution, while asserting that it is a “deliberate strategy”.

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor shared on X a post on an undated video of Ms Mirdha, the BJP candidate from Rajasthan’s Nagaur in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, in which she is purportedly heard talking about the need for the saffron party to secure a majority in both Houses of Parliament to be able to make constitutional amendments.

“After Anant Hegde let the cat out of the bag, BJP leaders hastily stuffed it back in and dropped him from their candidate list. Now another BJP candidate openly says the BJP’s aim is to change the Constitution,” Mr Tharoor said on X.

How many more candidates can the BJP disavow for revealing the truth, he asked.

Reacting to Mr Tharoor’s post, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on X: “These are all orchestrated by the MahaSutradhar himself. It is deliberate strategy.” Congress MP M K Raghavan also shared the video on the microblogging platform and said, “BJP candidate Jyoti Mirdha contesting from Nagaur, Rajasthan was speaking about how the BJP plans to change the Constitution.” “BJP MP Anant Hegde had also said that BJP will change the Constitution if they get 400 seats in the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

In the video, Mr Mirdha is heard saying, “Desh ke hit mein kai kathor nirnay karne padte hain. Unke liye humein samvidhanik badlav karne padhte hain. Agar samvidhan ke andar humein koi badlav karna hota hai toh aap mein se kai log jaante hain uske liye dono jo humare sadan hain, Lok Sabha aur Rajya Sabha, unke andar haami chahiye hoti hai (Several tough decisions need to be taken in the country’s interest. We have to make constitutional amendments for them. If we have to make amendments in the Constitution, many of you would know that we need the nod of both Houses of Parliament, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha).” “Lok Sabha mein aaj BJP aur NDA ke pas prachand bahumat hai, us mein koi kami nahi hai, lekin Rajya Sabha mein aaj bhi humari majority nahi hai. Agar is baar teesri baar NDA ki sarkar aati hai…. (In the Lok Sabha, the BJP and the NDA have a massive mandate, but we still do not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha. If the NDA government returns to power for a third time…),” she purportedly said.

Replying to Mr Tharoor’s criticism, Ms Mirdha said, “As far as I understand, the BJP’s aim is to serve the national and public interest as it gets articulated in the democratic discourse. And if for those purposes the Constitution needs to be amended then so be it.” “Most recently the cat was let out of the bag by the 106th constitutional amendment for Women’s Reservation Bill in September last year for which it seems you lent a reluctant helping hand,” she said.

Ms Mirdha also shared on X her clarification on the matter, saying that in a public meeting on March 31, her general comment “aimed at explaining the process of constitutional amendment was unnecessarily blown out of proportion by some honourable leaders of the opposition, which in my opinion is not only unnecessary but also entirely undesirable”.

All the distinguished individuals criticizing this are well-versed in law and the Constitution, she said.

“And they all are aware that from 1950 to last year, 106 amendments have been made to the Constitution. The most recent and historic amendment last year has finally realised our decades-long dream of a 33% reservation for women in Parliament, which was also vigorously supported by these very individuals in Parliament.

“In the past, many amendments have been made to the Constitution with the national and public interest in mind,” Ms Mirdha said.

“It is imperative to say that our sacred Constitution is a living document, amended from time to time considering the welfare of the people and the country,” she said.

The reference to Baba Saheb Ambedkar used to criticise me is also misplaced, Ms Mirdha said in her clarification, adding that he too had foreseen the need and hence provided for Article 368 in the Constitution for amendment.

“Thus, any politics over my statement does not reflect a healthy mindset,” she said.

Sharing MS Mirdha’s video, the Congress said in a post on X, “This is BJP candidate Jyoti Mirdha contesting from Nagaur, Rajasthan. Jyoti Mirdha says that to change the Constitution, we need an overwhelming majority in both the houses. BJP MP Anant Hegde has also said that if we get 400 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, we will change the Constitution.” “It is clear from these statements that BJP and PM Modi hate the Constitution and democracy. By abolishing the Constitution given by Babasaheb, BJP wants to snatch away the rights of the people,” the Congress alleged.

Ms Mirdha’s remarks come days after the BJP axed former Union minister Hegde, a six-term Lok Sabha member from Uttara Kannada, from its list of parliamentary poll candidates this time.

At a gathering at Karwar in Karnataka, Mr Hegde had said the BJP needs a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament to amend the Constitution and “set right the distortions and unnecessary additions made to it by the Congress”.

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