Prime Minister Narendra Modi's all-out attack on the Congress and the Gandhi family over the 1975 Emergency evoked a strong reaction from the Congress, which likened him to Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, whose reign has been described as oppressive by a majority of historians. There is an "atmosphere of fear" in the Prime Minister's administration, in which everyone is branded "anti-national", the party said.
The BJP today marked the 43th anniversary of the Emergency as "Black Day", on which PM Modi spoke at length at a party function in Mumbai. In his address, he accused the Congress of spreading "lies" to hang onto power.
At a press conference held soon after, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "In this time of Aurangzeb, is everybody not branded anti-national if he questions? Are Dalits not beaten and disrespected? Are people not murdered for eating habits, caste, creed?"
Aurangzeb "never took lessons from anybody", Mr Surjewala said in an apparent dig at PM Modi's explanation that Emergency should be remembered for its lessons. "The truth is that Modi is seeking history's refuge to hide his non-performance, but he doesn't realise he will become history himself," the Congress leader said.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel questioned if the BJP will apologise for the "undeclared emergency" of the past four years.
...Will they apologise for the undeclared emergency for last 4 years?
People are being lynched & threatened, agencies are being misused, economic and civil liberties are being curtailed(2/2)- Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) June 26, 2018
A trusted aide of Sonia Gandhi, Mr Patel also defended former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, pointing out that after 1977, "Indira ji apologised, corrected her mistakes & people of India voted her back".
The BJP comments on Emergency, he said, were coming from their fear of defeat in the 2019 assembly elections.
"After 4 years, fear of losing 2019 elections is haunting the government & hence they are trying to take refuge in the events of 1975 Emergency. But the fact is after 1977, Indira ji apologised, corrected her mistakes & people of India voted her back" another tweet from his handle read.