Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday paid tribute to the people who raised their voice against the Emergency and championed democracy even as curbs were put on their civic rights.
"Salute to all the martyrs, who had fought fiercely against the cruel dictatorship without fear, without wavering and without bowing down, to keep the great democracy of India intact!" Adityanath said in a tweet in Hindi.
The Indira Gandhi government imposed the Emergency on June 25 night, suspending civil liberties and censoring the press. The morning after a crackdown began on opposition leaders and activists with scores of them being jailed across the country. The Emergency was lifted on March 21, 1977.
Attacking the Congress over the imposition of Emergency, UP's Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya in a tweet in Hindi said, "Congress means Emergency ('Aapaatkaal'), BJP means 'Amrit Kaal'! Congress believes in dictatorship, BJP believes in democracy."
"Democracy is not in the DNA of the Congress, it is dictatorship. Congress-free India is necessary for the country and for democracy," he said. Maurya, in a separate tweet, took a jibe at Bihar Chief Minister and senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar for his warming up to Congress.
"Outspoken socialist leaders Nitish Kumar ji and Lalu Yadav ji, who were born, while opposing the Emergency, are today silent on the Emergency Day. Then Nitish Babu was arrested at gunpoint. But, now he likes the Congress gun," Maurya said.
Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak too in a tweet in Hindi said, "Regards to every voice that was raised against the Emergency, the darkest chapter of Indian democracy and politics."
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader and former Leader of Opposition in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Ramgovind Chaudhary hit out at the BJP in a programme organised in Ballia district saying the situation has worsened in the country as compared to 1975 Emergency.
Addressing a symbolic dharna at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Shaheed Park in Ballia on Sunday, Chaudhary said, "Emergency is a blemish on the nation. That was the time, when the struggle was to save democracy. Today, the condition of the country has become worse as compared to that time. The punishment for telling the truth is jail."
He alleged that under the current government democratic institutions are being "hijacked", and people are being threatened with curtailment of their democratic rights.
"Democratic voice is being silenced by the government. In this situation, as 'loktantra senani' (democracy warriors) our duty is to unite and raise voice against the undeclared Emergency," he said.