NEW DELHI: Congress was tonight unfazed by the sedition case filed against party Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Telangana as it declared that it will determinedly remain the "torch-bearer against oppression and suppression" by BJP.
Party chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala also alleged that anybody who speaks out against suppression of opinion by the Narendra Modi government is branded "anti-national".
"Sadly, BJP and its allies want to suppress every voice that speaks against their repressive anti-Dalit and anti-poor policies. "From Rohith Vemula to Rahul Gandhi, everyone who raises an opinion against suppressing of opinion by the Modi government is branded anti-national," Surjewala said in a statement.
Congress and the youth of India will not be deterred and speak up for the underprivileged and students in the face of "cowardly attempts" by the Modi government "drunk with arrogance of power".
"Rahulji and Congress will determinedly remain the torch- bearers against oppression and suppression being vindictively pursued by BJP," he said. Rahul, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury are among nine persons who have been booked on sedition charges in connection with the JNU row by Hyderabad police.
Yechury termed the development a "political move" which would not be possible without the NDA government's sanction.
"This is a political move by RSS-BJP. This could not have happened without the government's sanction. The matter will be taken up politically and legally," Yechury said.
An FIR has been registered against Rahul, Kejriwal, Yechury, Congress leaders Anand Sharma and Ajay Maken, CPI leader D Raja, JD(U) Spokesperson KC Tyagi, JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and JNU research scholar Umar Khalid on the order of a Hyderabad court based on a complaint filed by a lawyer, Janardhan Goud.
Goud had filed a complaint in the court of a Metropolitan Magistrate on Thursday seeking a direction to police for registration of a case against Kanhaiya and Khalid for allegedly raising anti-India and pro-Afzal Guru slogans on JNU campus.
In his petition, Goud said he had every right to question those engaging in anti-national activities and also those encouraging anti-nationals facing sedition charges.