Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today criticised the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government, describing his term in charge as a "Super Emergency". She also warned the nation to protect its democratic institutions in a message that comes as the BJP and Trinamool Congress trade allegations of provoking violence and intolerance in the state.
June 25 marks the day former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of Emergency in the country for a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977.
"Today is the anniversary of the #Emergency declared in 1975. For the last five years, the country went through a ''Super Emergency''. We must learn our lessons from history and fight to safeguard the democratic institutions in the country," Mamata Banerjee tweeted on the occasion of the 44th anniversary of the 1975 Emergency.
Today is the anniversary of the #Emergency declared in 1975. For the last five years, the country went through a ‘Super Emergency'. We must learn our lessons from history and fight to safeguard the democratic institutions in the country— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) June 25, 2019
In his response to Mamata Banerjee's tweet, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar hit back, declaring that conditions in Bengal were no less than an "Emergency".
"The way Mamata is ruling today, she is not less than the Emergency and she is running a very poor government. There is a lot of violence. The BJP and this government is committed to protecting democracy and we will do it 'sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas'," the BJP leader said.
Violence in Bengal has continued unabated since last month's election, with two people killed and three injured in Bhatpara district last Thursday. Speaking to NDTV, BJP lawmaker Arjun Singh claimed, "The Trinamool goons and the police are behind the violence in Barrackpore."
Earlier this month the BJP claimed three of its workers were killed in political clashes in North 24 Paraganas district, prompting Bengal BJP to approach Home Minister Amit Shah.
Ms Banerjee, a fierce critic of the Prime Minister and the BJP, had opted to skip both PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony on May 30 and the Niti Aayog meet on June 15, accusing the centre of causing riots to bring down her government because she was investigating EVM "irregularities" during last month's national election, in which the BJP claimed 18 of 42 seats compared to the two it won in 2014.
She has also hit out at the PM Modi-led BJP on other instances, accusing them of trying to "turn Bengal into Gujarat" and urging the people of Bengal to band together to protect the culture of the state.
As the two parties fight to assert themselves ahead of state polls in 2021, the BJP has complained of a breakdown in law and order. BJP leader Mukul Roy wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah requesting him to take action to safeguard lives of people as "anarchy and chaos" prevails in the state.
PM Modi also tweeted to mark the anniversary of the Emergency.
India salutes all those greats who fiercely and fearlessly resisted the Emergency.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 25, 2019
India's democratic ethos successfully prevailed over an authoritarian mindset. pic.twitter.com/vUS6HYPbT5
"India salutes all those greats who fiercely and fearlessly resisted the Emergency. India's democratic ethos successfully prevailed over an authoritarian mindset," the Prime Minister wrote, including a video montage of scenes from the period in his comment.
With inputs from ANI