NEW DELHI: In a scathing attack against the BJP over anti-citizenship protests, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday accused the government of showing "utter disregard" for people's voices and said it has unleashed "brute repression" which was "unacceptable" in a democracy.
Condemning the government's action, she expressed Congress' solidarity with students and citizens in their "just struggle".
In a televised message, she asserted that people have the right to raise their voice against wrong decisions and policies of the government, and register their concerns.
"The Congress party assures the people of India that it is fully committed to stand up and defend their fundamental rights and uphold the foundational values of our Constitution," she said.
Gandhi's message comes amidst raging protests across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
"In a democracy, people have a right to raise their voice against wrong decisions and policies of the government and register their concerns. Equally, it is the duty of the government to listen to the citizens and address their concerns. The BJP Government has shown utter disregard for people's voices and chosen to use brute force to suppress dissent. This is unacceptable in a democracy," she said.
There have been spontaneous protests in the universities, IITs, IIMs and other leading academic institutions throughout the country against the divisive agenda and anti-people policies of the BJP government, she said in a brief message.
"The Congress expresses its deep anguish and concern over the brute repression unleashed by the BJP government against the students, youth and citizens across the country," she said.
She also termed the new act as "discriminatory" and said the proposed nation-wide NRC will particularly hurt the poor and vulnerable.
"Like at the time of 'notebandi' (demonetisation), they will have to stand in line to prove their and their ancestors' citizenship. People's apprehensions are real and legitimate," she said.