NEW DELHI: Firing a fresh salvo at the government, veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, on Saturday asked his party colleagues and ministers to "get rid of their fear" and "speak up for democracy" like the four Supreme Court judges who came out publicly against the CJI.
The former Union minister referred to the comments of the four judges to claim that the prevailing atmosphere was like the Emergency in 1975-77 and voiced concern over short parliamentary sessions.
The dissident, who has been critical of the government and BJP for a while now, said if Parliament is compromised, Supreme Court is not in order, then democracy is threatened. Sinha said, "If four senior most Supreme Court judges say democracy is under threat, we have to take their words very seriously."
"Every citizen who feels for democracy should speak up. I will ask party (BJP) leaders and senior cabinet ministers to speak up. I will appeal to them to get rid of their fears and speak up," he said.
Sinha, however, insisted that it was for the apex court to sort out the crisis after the four senior judges virtually revolted against the CJI on Friday, raising questions on "selective" case allocation. It was clear that sensitive cases were under scanner, he said.
The former minister, who has been a vocal critic of policies on demonetisation, GST and Jammu and Kashmir, claimed that he was "personally aware of the fear in which members of the cabinet in this government are working, and that also is a threat to democracy".
BJP has in the past attributed Sinha's scathing criticism of the government to his being sidelined in the party with finance minister Arun Jaitley once dubbing him as a "job applicant at 80".
Referring to the winter session and the first leg of the budget session of Parliament to be held from January 29 to February 9, Sinha said he had never heard of such short sessions and this was also a threat to democracy.