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NEW DELHI: On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Emergency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tributes to the people who fought for the protection of democracy in India, saying the country will never forget their sacrifices.

In a tweet in Hindi, Modi said, “Emergency was imposed on the country exactly 45 years ago. At the time, people who fought for the protection of India’s democracy, suffered torture, I salute them all! The country will never forget their sacrifices.”

He also attached one of the episodes from his monthly programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ held last year, where he spoke at length about the Emergency.

The announcement of Emergency was made on June 25, 1975, days after the Allahabad High Court found former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi guilty of electoral malpractices and disbarred her as a parliamentarian for six years.

For much of the Emergency period, most of Indira Gandhi’s political opponents were jailed and the press was muzzled.

Modi’s remarks came after Union Home Minister Amit Shah took a swipe at Indira Gandhi, saying one family’s “greed for power” led to the imposition of Emergency 45 years ago when the country was turned into a prison.

In a series of tweets, Shah said, “On this day 45 years ago, one family’s greed for power led to the imposition of Emergency. Overnight the nation was turned into a prison. The press, courts, free speech… all were trampled over. Atrocities were committed on the poor and downtrodden.”

He said that due to the efforts of lakhs of people, the Emergency was lifted. “Democracy was restored in India, but it remained absent in the Congress. The interests of one family prevailed over party interests and national interests. This sorry state of affairs thrives in today’s Congress too,” Shah said in another tweet.

The Home Minister also asked the Congress why even after 45 years, the Emergency mindset still remains.