Opposition parties on Thursday alleged that an "undeclared Emergency" has been imposed in the country in the light of restrictions and detention of thousands for defying prohibitory orders to deal with the mounting protests against the new citizenship law in multiple cities.
Rejecting the charge, the Centre and the Bharatiya Janata Party said no government can tolerate violence and alleged that the opposition parties were fueling the protests for vote bank politics.
The Congress accused the government of muzzling the voice of people through "draconian measures" and said there is an "undeclared Emergency" while the CPI-M asserted the situation was worse than that during the Emergency with internet shut and metro stations closed in Delhi and the crackdown on the protests.
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy alleged that the opposition parties were inciting students, women and others in the name of religion.
"Instead of trying to stop protests, some political parties are fuelling demonstration against CAA. They are inciting women, students and others in the name of religion," he told reporters.
Reddy maintained that no government can tolerate violence.
"We have to deal with violence. The Act is not against any religion, community or state. There should not be any reason for protests and the violence is taking place in the name of religion," he said.
Reddy also defended the government's decision to snap internet services in parts of the national capital, saying the step was taken to check circulation of "false" and "mischievous" information.
BJP working president J P Nadda said the ruling party's rivals are protesting for vote bank politics while ignoring the plight of minorities of three neighbouring countries living in India.
"Our rivals cannot see anything beyond their vote bank politics," Nadda said after meeting Sikh refugees from Afghanistan, who under the amended act will become Indian citizens.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath alleged that in the name of opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and Left parties have pushed the entire country in fire.
He alleged that the Opposition is creating confusion on the CAA as it was sidelined and ignored by the people.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the voice of people cannot be silenced by force, sentiments endorsed by fellow party leader Rahul Gandhi.
"This government has no right to shut down colleges, telephones and the Internet, to halt metro trains and to impose Section 144(prohibitory orders) to suppress India's voice and prevent peaceful protests. To do so is an insult to India's soul," said Rahul Gandhi.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi felt that undeclared emergency has been imposed in the country and the BJP government has become "adamkhor (man-eater)".
"This is not BJP rule, it is undeclared emergency imposed in the country, which is being run in the name of normalcy," he said.
The Congress party also took to Twitter to say citizens have a right to protest peacefully against the government.
"Imposing Section 144 and internet shutdowns are draconian measures to muzzle citizens by a government that is terrified of hearing what Indians have to say. BJP should be ashamed," it tweeted.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram questioned why internet had been shut and asked whether all Delhi residents have become "urban naxals", a term often used by the prime minister to attack intellectuals in the national capital.
"In the year that we have just celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the right of peaceful assembly and protest has been taken away from the people of this country. There can be no greater shame," he said.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "Modi government has attacked the Constitution, the youth and the students. Metro is closed, internet is shut, college-university is closed, the freedom to speak is closed, employment is closed, business is shut. Because, it is possible when Modi is there."
Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the manner in which the democratic protests was dealt with was unacceptable.
"India today has the ignominy of being the largest internet shutdown(country) in the world. It is unacceptable. Metro stations were closed. This is worse than what we saw during the Emergency," Yechurytold reporters.