Congress observes day-long 'Satyagraha' across country against Rahul's disqualification

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

Published: 26th March 2023 08:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2023 03:38 PM   |  A+A-

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

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

By ENS & Agencies

NEW DELHI: The Congress' Rajasthan unit on Sunday began its day-long "Sankalp Satyagraha" here in support of Rahul Gandhi following his disqualification from the Lok Sabha.

The party's state unit chief Govind Singh Dotasra, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas and several other leaders are taking part in the protest at the Collectorate Circle.

Similar protests are also being organised in other districts.

The Congress has launched a day-long satyagraha at all states and district headquarters to protest against Gandhi's conviction in a 2019 defamation case and his subsequent disqualification from the Lok Sabha.

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

Calling Gandhi's disqualification "murder of democracy", Dotasra said, "We are holding this satyagraha" against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Lok Sabha."

He was raising the issue of corruption done in connivance between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and (industrialist Gautam) Adani and to suppress his voice, a decision was taken in haste to terminate his Lok Sabha membership.

The Pradesh Congress Committee chief added that the BJP labels anyone who raises their voice against it as "anti-nationals" and claimed that it 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 said.

Mentioning that Gandhi had made it clear that he was not going to be afraid, Dotasra said, "The Congress will expose the scam of Adani and the PM. We are ready for this from Parliament to the roads."

Khachariyawas said Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha in a planned manner. This was a sin. The sin has been committed and its outcome will be dangerous," he said.

Former mayor Jyoti Khandelwal said the prime minister maintained silence on the Adani issue but action was taken against Gandhi, who has been constantly raising the voice of the people of India. "Satyagraha is the power that had forced the British to bow down. The Modi government will also have to bow down," she said.

During the protest, Dotasra also announced that he and the Congress' Rajasthan in-charge Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa will visit all divisions and meet party workers and the general public on the issue. They will then cover all the districts and blocks.

On Tuesday, they will visit the Udaipur division, followed by Bikaner and Jodhpur divisions on Wednesday and Kota and Bharatpur on Saturday.

ALSO READ | United Opposition takes govt head on over Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification

'Not Savarkar, won't apologise'

Meanwhile, speaking for the first time since his disqualification, Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP government by reiterating that "democracy is under attack" in India. He also ruled out the possibility of an apology over his remarks on the Modi surname in 2019, which a Surat court found defamatory, saying “My name is not Savarkar. My name is Gandhi. I won’t apologise.”

Lambasting PM Narendra Modi, Rahul said that he had been disqualified because "the Prime Minister is scared about my next speech on Adani and that is why this whole game of disqualification, allegations by ministers aimed at distracting people from Adani issue."

The Congress leader said: "This is the whole drama that is been orchestrated to defend the Prime Minister from the simple question- Who's Rs 20,000 crore went to Adani's shell companies? I am not scared of these threats, disqualifications, or prison sentences."

He also said that the BJP was trying to divert the issue by alleging that he had insulted OBCs and he would continue to ask what is Modi's relationship with businessman Gautam Adani.

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

(With inputs from PTI)


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