NEW DELHI: On the 44th anniversary of the Emergency, top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Tuesday criticized the 19 month-long periods of Emergency, declared by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, saying it was the "darkest chapter" in the history of India.
BJP Working President J.P. Nadda took to Twitter, saying that "democracy was murdered by the Congress party on this day merely to remain in power".
"A grateful nation remembers thousands of unsung heroes from Bhartiya Jan Sangh and RSS, who led the anti-emergency movement from the front," he added.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah recalled the "collapse of fundamental rights of citizens and the shut-down of newspapers during the period of Emergency".
He tweeted: "Lakhs of nationalist against the Emergency suffered to establish democracy in the country. I salute to all those soldiers for their sacrifice."
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed Emergency and its following incidents as the "darkest chapter" in Indian history.
"On this day, we the people of India should always remember the importance of upholding the integrity of our institutions and the Constitution," he said in his tweet.