Sharad Pawar to flag-off and march in Yashwant Sinha’s anti-CAA yatra
NCP chief Sharad Pawar has decided to participate in the 21-day-long protest march from Mumbai to Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act (ACT), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) organized by former union minister Yashwant Sinha, said a news agency.
Rashtra Manch, floated by the former BJP leader, is behind the march named, “Gandhi Shanti Yatra” that will start from the Gateway of India in south Mumbai on January 9, and terminate at the ‘Raj Ghat’ in Delhi on January 30, on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The announcement was made after Sinha’s meeting with the Maratha leader in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The march originating in Mumbai will pass through the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana before reaching Delhi while covering around 3,000 km in distance.
“Sharad Pawar will flag off the yatra and also partake in it. NCP workers and office-bearers should take part in the yatra,” the agency quoted Maharashtra minister and NCP’s Mumbai unit chief Nawab Malik as saying.
It is not known if Pawar will cover the full distance and be with the Yatra for its full 21 days.
Pawar’s NCP and Congress are partners in Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government which is being helmed by the Shiv Sena.
The CAA seeks to expedite Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh on the grounds of religious persecution and it has triggered protests in many states for allegedly being exclusionary and discriminatory against Muslims.
The proposed National Population Register (NPR) is also being opposed by many parties, who claim, it will be used to identify Muslim migrants, who will then be ousted using the NRC. The Central government has, however, debunked these theories and blamed the opposition parties for misleading and provoking unrest among minorities for electoral gains.