MUMBAI: Amid calls to save the Constitution, Nationalist Congress Party boss Sharad Pawar on Thursday flagged off a 21-day long Mumbai-Delhi ‘Gandhi Shanti Yatra’ to be conducted by ex-BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.
Sinha, 82, is campaigning against and create awareness about the implications of the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) apart from a host of other issues.
Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi president Prakash Ambedkar, senior Congress leaders like Shatrughan Sinha, Prithviraj Chavan, Ashish Deshmukh, Eknath Gaikwad, state minister Nawab Malik were among political heavyweights present at the event.“We will protect the Constitution drafted by Ambedkarji. We will not let the country be partitioned again. We will not let Gandhi be murdered again. We are all one and will remain one,” said Sinha, as he held a picture of the Father of the Nation.
The yatra is scheduled to reach New Delhi on January 30, which happens to be the 71st anniversary of the assassination of Gandhi. Pawar urged the people to answer the government’s “dictatorial” policies with Gandhi’s way of non-violence. “The government is using dictatorial policies. What happened in JNU is being opposed across the country. The government’s dictatorship needs to be answered with Gandhiji’s way of non-violence,” the NCP boss said.
“The CAA will be a threat to the country’s integrity. Many people in the country will not be able to prove their citizenship and could face an uncertain future. This has created huge unrest among the masses and the youth of the country are opposing it on the streets daily,” he added.
The former Union minister noted there are members of several sections of the society who cannot tell where they came from and where they will live.
“They will be forced to live in some camps (detention centres). The government has left disappointed representatives of the Independent India and shareholders of the country. Hence, we need to create awareness in society, need to ensure unity among all sections of society.” The government needs to be shown the right path of Gandhi’s non-violent way, which only can help save the Constitution, Pawar asserted.
Congress leader wants pro-RSS vice-chancellors dismissed
Congress leader Ashish Deshmukh demanded that the appointments of pro-RSS vice-chancellors in the state universities should be revoked by the Maharashtra government. “The V-C at JNU is a pro-RSS person and we have seen what it led to. If we don’t want such a situation in Maharashtra, the appointment of pro-RSS VCs will have to be revoked,” Deshmukh told the crowds at ‘Gandhi Shanti Yatra’.