Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani has come out in support of Aseem Trivedi, saying the act of jailing the cartoonist for an allegedly seditious work had made him wonder if the current political set up was "worse even than the emergency?"
Advani, in a blog post Wednesday, said he has "always regarded the emergency period 1975-77 as the worst in so far as suppression of civil liberties and freedom of expression were concerned".
"But seeing what has happened to political cartoonist and anti-corruption crusader Aseem Trivedi, I have started wondering: Is today's political set up worse even than the emergency?"
On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court granted bail to Trivedi but he refused to be freed till the sedition charge against him were dropped.
Trivedi was arrested last Saturday by Mumbai police which charged him, among other things, with sedition for insulting national emblems and the constitution during the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare here December 2011.
India Against Corruption (IAC) member Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday threatened to sit on a protest outside the prison where cartoonist Aseem Trivedi has been jailed if all charges against him are not dropped.
Advani said the "draconian mindset of the present rulers is born out of failure and desperation".
"…Dictatorships cannot afford laughter because people may laugh at the dictator, and that would not do. In all the years of Hitler, there never was a good comedy, not a good cartoon, not a parody, not a spoof." he said.
Around 50 percent of over 3.6 million voters cast their ballots Wednesday in the bypolls for two Lok Sabha seats from Karnataka, an official said.
Political leaders cut across party lines on Friday to condemn the gangrape of a photojournalist in Mumbai.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP N Harikrishna has resigned from the Rajya Sabha to protest against the formation of Telangana.
An all-out factional war has broken out between Harshvardhan and Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel, with both vying for the Chief Minister's post if the party comes to power.
It is a crucial day for the Congress in Karnataka as by-polls began in Mandya and Bangalore Rural constituencies on Wednesday.
Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said the platform alone cannot help win elections but gives new options of reaching out to public.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said the Centre was neither concerned about the economy nor the falling rupee but only worried about saving its chair.