'Our freedom of expression next to none': Dhankhar days after Sonia Gandhi's attack on Centre

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar
Vice President Jagdeep DhankharANI

New Delhi: Days after former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's attack on the Modi government for allegedly "enforcing silence" on key issues through an editorial column in an English daily, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday said there is no enforced silence and level of freedom of expression in India is next to none.

Addressing the civil servants on the occasion of Civil Services Day here, Vice President said, "We are the largest and the mother of democracy. Our democracy is the most functional and vibrant at all levels. The village, municipalities, States and the Centre...In no Constitution in any other country, you will find a provision for Panchayat. We have it in Part IX of our Constitution.

This kind of hierarchical democratic mechanism you do not have anywhere else in the world. "Some in the world find it...I do not know for what cause to question us on some of our greatest achievements. Our level of freedom of expression is next to none. Can there have greater freedom of expression than what we have in the country? I am sure no one can match us. There is no tangible reflection of enforced silence," added Dhankhar.

He said Parliament alone is 'incharge of legislation' and competent to enforce it.

"Indeed painful to suffer some who adopt Ostrich stance to our phenomenal growth and flourishing democratic values. In and out of the country they engage in misadventure to demean, decry, taint and tarnish our democracy and constitutional institutions," Dhankhar said.

Vice Presidents' remarks came against the backdrop of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi lashing out at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government in an editorial piece in a leading English daily earlier this month.

Sonia Gandhi said that the Prime Minister was blaming past leaders for today's ills, ignoring the most pressing and vital issues of the day.

Sonia further wrote that the government's deep-rooted disdain for democracy and democratic accountability was disturbing.

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