Congress holds ‘satyagraha’, vows to guard Constitution
The party stepped up its opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed pan-India exercise to register the country’s citizens on the lines of Assam, protesting against the alleged police atrocities on students, at the same time demanding protection of the rights of people as enshrined in the Constitution.Updated: Dec 24, 2019 01:51 IST
The Congress on Monday sought to replicate Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of non-violent resistance by organising a ‘Satyagraha’ at his memorial in Delhi to express solidarity with those protesting against the new citizenship law and the proposed countrywide National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The party stepped up its opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed pan-India exercise to register the country’s citizens on the lines of Assam, protesting against the alleged police atrocities on students, at the same time demanding protection of the rights of people as enshrined in the Constitution.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former party president Rahul Gandhi, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath and Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Jyotiraditya Scindia were among senior party leaders who participated in the “Satyagraha for Unity” at Rajghat.
The leaders read out the Preamble to the Constitution as part of the protest. Rahul Gandhi, who recently returned from an official visit to South Korea, launched a fresh attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on economy and unemployment, accusing the PM of trying to spread hatred. “What our enemies could not do for decades, Narendra Modi has done in six years. You could not provide jobs, destroyed economy and stalled our progress that is why you are hiding behind hate,” he said. “You have been taught by your organisation how to break the country and spread hatred. You are number one in doing so. The country will not let you attack the Constitution, suppress voice of ‘Bharat Mata’,” he said.
The Congress members observed a one-minute silence in memory of those killed during the country-wide protests against CAA and NRC. Some religious leaders were also present at the ‘Satyagraha’ where the attendees sang bhajans (devotional songs).
Addressing the gathering, Priyanka Gandhi, who has been leading the party’s protest against the CAA, said her party resolved to protect the Constitution in the names of all those “martyred” during the protests.
“In the name of Bijnor’s 22-year-old Anas, who used to earn money for his family through a coffee-vending machine and had recently gotten married. In the name of 21-year-old Suleiman, who was studying for the UPSC exam and used to take tuition. In the names of all the children who have been martyred in this movement, in the name of Bijnor’s Omraj Saini, whose five children are waiting for him and he is in the hospital, injured. In their names, we resolve today that we will protect the Constitution and will not allow it to be destroyed,” she said.
Both Nath and Gehlot asserted they will not allow implementation of CAA and NRC in their states. Chhattisgarh minister T S Singh Deo, speaking on behalf of chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, and Maharashtra Congress minister Balasaheb Thorat on behalf of the Shiv Sena-led coalition government, said they will oppose the CAA and the NRC. Boxer Vijender Singh was also present at the event.