New Delhi/Bhopal, Jun 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said those who imposed Emergency have no right to profess their love for the Constitution, as top BJP leaders trained their guns on the Congress with two party chief ministers demanding apology from the main opposition party.

As the BJP and the Congress crossed swords on the 49th anniversary of imposition of Emergency, Modi also said that its dark days are a reminder of how the Congress subverted basic freedoms and trampled over the Constitution which every Indian respects greatly.

The Congress hit back at Modi and accused him of enforcing an "undeclared emergency" in the last 10 years which caused a “deep trauma” to democracy.

On June 25, 1975, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of Emergency in the country, suspending civil liberties, jailing opposition leaders and dissidents and effecting press censorship. Emergency was lifted on March 21, 1977.

In a no-holds-barred attack on the Congress, senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the opposition party crushed the spirit of the Constitution several times for the sake of "maintaining a certain family in power". He said the Emergency was the biggest example of the opposition party's long history of killing democracy and harming it repeatedly.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav while demanding an apology from the Congress said the Emergency was a "dark period" which caused shivers even after five decades.

“It was such a dark period that even today the whole country shivers on remembering it. The Congress should apologise for it. Many families were destroyed due to their excesses.”

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the country will not pardon the Congress and demanded that the opposition party apologize to the people.

The BJP held programmes coinciding with the anniversary of the Emergency to "expose" what it called the Congress' "authoritarianism" and its disregard for the Constitution.

In posts on X, Modi said that just to cling on to power, the then Congress government disregarded every democratic principle and turned the nation into a jail. "Socially regressive policies were unleashed to target the weakest sections.”

"These are the same people who have imposed Article 356 on innumerable occasions, got a Bill to destroy press freedom, destroyed federalism and violated every aspect of the Constitution."

"The mindset which led to the imposition of the Emergency is very much alive among the same party which imposed it. They hide their disdain for the Constitution through their tokenism but the people of India have seen through their antics and that is why they have rejected them time and again," Modi said.

The prime minister said the anniversary on Tuesday is a day to pay homage to all those great men and women who resisted the Emergency.

“Those who imposed the Emergency have no right to profess their love for our Constitution,” he said.

Kharge said the prime minister is raking up the past only to hide his "failures".

"Narendra Modi ji, the country is looking forward to the future but you keep scratching the past to hide your failures. In the last 10 years, you made 140 crore Indians realise what 'undeclared emergency' is, which caused a deep trauma to democracy and the Constitution," Kharge said in a post in Hindi on X.

"Breaking parties, toppling elected governments through the backdoor, misuse of agencies like ED, CBI, IT against 95 percent of opposition leaders, putting chief ministers in jail, and using the official machinery before elections and disturbing the level playing field, is this not undeclared emergency.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the Emergency was a black chapter in Indian democracy which cannot be forgotten.

Dictatorship and misuse of power were on brazen display during the period, Singh said on 'X', adding that it raises a big question mark on the commitment to democracy of several political parties.

BJP president JP Nadda reminded the Congress of the "dark days of Emergency" and said those who insulted and ignored the Constitution several times have declared themselves as protectors of the Constitution,"

Senior BJP leader Vikram Verma, a former union minister, said Rahul Gandhi should publicly express regret for the Emergency imposed by his grandmother.

Congress leader P Chidambaram said the people of the country have voted for the 18th Lok Sabha in such a manner that no "divine ruler" can change the basic structure of the Constitution.

In a post on 'X', he said the people have voted to curtail the ambitions of the BJP.

"Hon'ble Prime Minister said that 'Emergency reminds us to protect the Constitution'. Very true," Chidambaram said.

"I may add, the Constitution reminded the people to prevent another Emergency, and they voted to curtail the ambitions of the BJP. The people voted for the 18th Lok Sabha in such a manner that no human or divine ruler can change the basic structure of the Constitution," he added.

The Sharad Pawar-led NCP faction claimed there are many "Emergency situations" in the country at present and the BJP needs to answer them before dwelling into the past. PTI