JAIPUR: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday led a massive peaceful march called the 'Samvidhan Bacho rally' against the amended citizenship law and demanded that the centre repeal the act, saying it is against the constitution and an attempt to divide people in the name of religion.
Members of different political parties including CPI, CPI(M), AAP, SP, RLD and JD(S), a large number of people from the minority communities and civil society, as well as intellectuals and youths, participated in the 'silent march' which started here from the iconic Albert hall and culminated at Gandhi circle, covering nearly 3 km on JLN road.
Jaipur Police Commissioner Anand Srivastava said nearly 3 lakh people attended the march, which took place peacefully.
Addressing the huge gathering at the Gandhi circle on culmination of the march, the chief minister criticised the BJP, RSS, prime minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah for their decisions like CAA and NRC.
Gehlot alleged that their agenda was to make India a Hindu Rashtra and questioned whether the country would remain intact if the agenda is fulfilled.
Targeting the prime minister, Gehlot said his nationalism was hollow and people were now well aware of his "tricks".
"They are ruling in arrogance. With the majority that they have, they can make laws but cannot win the hearts of people. The country is burning today. 15 people have died in violence in Uttar Pradesh and the violence is happening where BJP is ruling," Gehlot said.
He claimed the country ran successfully on the principles of the Constitution for 70 years after independence but now the Modi government was tearing apart the Constitution.
The RSS and the BJP were trying to execute their agenda of making of a Hindu Rashtra, he alleged.
"People have understood the tricks of Narendra Modi. His nationalism is hollow," Gehlot said.
He said that Pakistan was created on the ground of religion but it could not remain intact and was divided into two nations - Pakistan and Bangladesh.
"They want to divide people in the name of religion. What is their agenda? Their agenda is the making of a Hindu Rashtra.
But would they be able to keep the country intact if their agenda is fulfilled?" he asked.
The chief minister said the government should repeal the CAA and the prime minister should announce that NRC will not be implemented in the country.
"They failed in implementing NRC in Assam. 19 lakh people were identified after the survey and 16 lakh of them were Hindus. When their campaign could not succeed there, they brought the citizenship amendment bill," he said.
Speaking on NRC, he said the government wants people to stand in queues for submitting their documents.
The chief minister said the government should take action against illegal migrants and everyone from all communities will support the government but the move of dividing people in the name of religion will not be tolerated.
Deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot said the rally was giving a message of peace, unity and harmony for the country and the world.
He said amendments in the citizenship act have happened in the past but it was for the first time when people were protesting against it and youths were on the roads.
"Violence is happening, youths are on roads, they are protesting. The priority for a government, ruled by any party, should be that of youths, farmers.
But the government at the Centre is not focused on real issues," Pilot said.
Sharad Yadav, former JD(U) president, said the country was passing through a difficult phase and there was an undeclared emergency.
"The government should repeal the unconstitutional act," he demanded. Ministers, MLAs and other public representatives too were part of the massive march where the participants, including women, carried the national flag and placards with slogans against CAA and NRC.
Elaborate security arrangements were made for the rally and traffic was diverted to alternate routes.