Congress Satyagraha in support of Rahul: Leaders, workers call for 'democratic forces to get together'

Priyanka Gandhi said the time had come to raise voice against an "arrogant government" as barring Rahul Gandhi from contesting elections does not bode well for the country and its democracy.

Published: 26th March 2023 06:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2023 06:55 PM   |  A+A-


Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge Priyanka Gandhi and other leaders sitting on Satyagrah at Rajghat on Sunday. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)


NEW DELHI: Congress workers across the country on Sunday organised "Sankalp Satyagraha" to protest against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from Lok Sabha, with party president Mallikarjun Kharge lashing out at the ruling BJP and asking why it is pained if fugitives such as Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi are criticised.

While in Delhi, the police denied permission to the Congress to hold its protest programme at Rajghat, the police in Gujarat detained several party functionaries for holding the stir.

In the national capital, the Congress put up a stage outside Mahatma Gandhi's memorial for its day-long protest programme after the permission was denied.

In her address at the protest programme, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi said a martyred prime minister's son, who walked thousands of kilometres for national unity, can never insult the country. She was referring to her father and late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi who was assassinated in 1991.

Priyanka Gandhi said the time had come to raise voice against an "arrogant government" as barring Rahul Gandhi from contesting elections does not bode well for the country and its democracy.

"My family's blood has nurtured democracy in this country. We are ready to do anything for this country's democracy. Great leaders of the Congress laid the foundation of democracy in this country. If they think they can scare us, they are wrong. We will not be scared," she said.

 Police detain a Congress supporter during a protest against disqualification of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from Lok Sabha, in Ahmedabad. (Photo | PTI)

Slamming the BJP over its charge that Rahul Gandhi insulted OBCs with his remark for which he has been convicted in a criminal defamation case, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said why is the ruling party pained if fugitives such as Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi are criticised.

Kharge also thanked all Opposition parties for standing with Rahul Gandhi and the Congress to save democracy.

"They talk of OBC now, is Lalit Modi OBC, is Nirav Modi OBC, is Mehul Choksi OBC, they ran away with people's money. If they are fugitives why are you pained if they are criticised. You (BJP) punish the person who works to save the country and send those abroad who loot the country," Kharge said.

"Rahul Gandhi ji is fighting for the people of this country, for the women, for the youth, fighting against unemployment and inflation," he said.

Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha on Friday, a day after a court in Gujarat's Surat convicted him in a 2019 defamation case.

The disqualification will prevent Gandhi (52), a four-time MP, from contesting elections for eight years unless a higher court stays the conviction.

ALSO READ | Will fight 'legally and politically': Congress on Rahul's LS disqualification

Congress protests across country

Congress workers in many states and union territories like Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat took part in the protest programme.

In Gujarat, the police detained state Congress chief Jagdish Tahor, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Amit Chavda and senior leader Bharatsinh Solanki along with party workers when they arrived at Lal Darwaza in Ahmedabad to protest.

The protesters were taken to the police stadium where they continued to shout slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

"We have the power of Truth and resolution of Satyagraha. To expose the loot of BJP, with a firm determination to protect democracy, each and every worker of Gujarat Pradesh Congress is with Rahul Gandhi," Thakor tweeted.

TPCC  president and MP Revanth Reddy along with Senior congress leaders protest on Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification at Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad on Sunday. (Photo | Vinay Madapu, EPS)

The Punjab and Haryana units of Congress also observed the satyagraha.

Punjab Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring alleged that the action against Rahul Gandhi was taken because the BJP-led Centre was "scared" of his next speech in Parliament on the Adani issue. Warring said a "tearing hurry" was shown by the Lok Sabha Secretariat in disqualifying Rahul Gandhi allegedly at the behest of the BJP-led government.

Haryana Congress chief Udai Bhan said Rahul Gandhi has been raising his voice against the BJP-led Centre on various issues. "They want to silence his voice, but they are mistaken," he said.

Charging that institutions are being attacked in the country, Punjab's Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa said it is time for "all democratic forces to get together".

In Congress-ruled Rajasthan, the party's state unit chief Govind Singh Dotasra, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas and several other leaders took part in the protest.

Dubbing Gandhi's disqualification as a "murder of democracy", Dotasra charged that the BJP labels anyone who raises their voice against it as "anti-nationals" and distorts their public image through social media. "Rahul Gandhi is someone whose grandmother and father sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation," he added.

MP Shashi Tharoor speaking in the Satyagraha organised by Congress at Gandhi Park in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. (Photo | BP Deepu, EPS)

The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee on Sunday held a statewide protest. TNCC president K S Alagiri, who led the protest in Cuddalore termed Gandhi's disqualification an act of injustice and political vendetta.

Meanwhile, the Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee said it will hold a dawn-to-dusk fast here on Monday to condemn the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as member of Parliament.

In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, senior party leaders like local MP Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Pradesh Congress Committee president Ranglal Halder and Campaign Committee chairman of Andaman and Nicobar Territorial Congress, TSG Bhasker assembled in front of the statue near Aberdeen Bazaar here since morning and raised their voices against the ruling party at the Centre for "conspiring against Rahul Gandhi."

In Port Blair, party leaders were seen carrying placards criticising the NDA government.

In Himachal Pradesh's Shimla, Congress leaders and workers gathered at the Ridge and protested against the move. The party would launch a statewide protest against the alleged attempt of the BJP government to "kill democracy" and "muzzle" the voice of the people from Monday, said Congress leaders.

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Sunday held a day-long 'Sankalp Satyagraha' with party leader Ghulam Ahmad Mir accusing the BJP government at the Centre of being undemocratic. 

Speaking to reporters, Mir said not only Congress party, but all non-BJP secular parties have come together, and are "wailing over the death of democracy" in the country. "The BJP government has not left any sign of the Constitution in the country, all the steps it takes are illegal and undemocratic," he charged.

Jammu and Kashmir Congress President Vikar Rasool Wani with party leaders stages a protest against disqualification of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from Lok Sabha, in Jammu. (Photo | PTI)


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  • Sundaram Natarajan

    'democratic forces to get together' LOL. Is the party of Congress
    2 months ago reply
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