The Congress on Tuesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who accused the Nehru-Gandhi family of creating an atmosphere of fear during the Emergency. The prime minister made the remarks in an address to BJP workers in Mumbai earlier in the afternoon.

“Whenever the Congress or their ‘family’ thinks their position of power is at risk, they tell us that the nation is in trouble and only they can save us,” Modi said.

All India Congress Committee communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said there was an undeclared emergency in the country and the prime minister was distracting people to hide his failures.

“There is an undeclared emergency in this country for the last 49 months with [the] Opposition [being] suppressed and Modi himself following them who give death and rape threats to anyone who oppose them, including BJP’s minister [Sushma Swaraj],” Surjewala said at a press conference.

He claimed that Modi was a dictator crueler than Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, PTI reported. “Delhi Sultanate’s ‘dictator’ Modi, who is even more cruel than Aurangzeb, today gave lessons to the country on the Emergency imposed 43 years ago,” Surjewala said. “By taking out his anger on the Congress, can a lid be put on Modiji’s ‘jumlas’ [empty promises]? Today’s Aurangzeb has enslaved democracy in the country including in his own party, the BJP. Modi while trying to put a lid on his own failures is taking revenge with history today, but he has forgotten that he himself will become history soon.”

The Congress spokesperson said the BJP government was creating an atmosphere of fear to suppress dissent. “For the last 49 months, PM Modi’s mounting promises have been turned out to be lies. Black money hasn’t returned yet and democracy under Modi government is dying,” he said.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said India was witnessing a systematic subversion of all institutions that uphold the Constitution and democracy because of an “authoritarian Prime Minister and arrogant government”.

“Indira Gandhi was the tallest leader of her times and a democratically elected popular prime minister,” Sharma tweeted. “Arun Jaitley’s comparison of Indira with Hitler is absurd, outrageous and a distortion of history.”

He said the BJP’s obsession with Hitler was understandable since the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the BJP “celebrate Hitler and eulogise fascism”.