‘Students initiated protests against CAA, we didn’t instigate’: Youth Congress chief
Since last week, the Youth Congress has been holding protest demonstrations against the CAA and in solidarity with the protesting students of Jamia Millia Islamia and other universities.Updated: Dec 19, 2019 00:31 IST
Youth Congress president Srinivas BV on Wednesday dismissed allegations that his party was instigating students against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saying the protests were spontaneous and reminiscent of the agitation in 2011.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have blamed the Congress for the protests against the new citizenship law by “spreading lies and indulging in dirty politics”.
“Even we were taken by surprise. The students on their own have launched spontaneous protests to save the Constitution and democracy. How are we involved and instigating them?” Srinivas told HT.
Srinivas said the protests were not confined to one or two campuses but had spread across the country. “The entire North-east is burning. Protests have erupted in Delhi, Tamil Nadu and other states. The government should own up responsibility for what is happening in the country,” he added.
Since last week, the Youth Congress has been holding protest demonstrations against the CAA and in solidarity with the protesting students of Jamia Millia Islamia and other universities.
“As a political organisation, we cannot remain mute spectators to what is happening to our students across campuses. We stand by the youth of the country and will continue to do so in future as well. We are protesting the police brutalities against the students. Is that a crime?” the Youth Congress chief said.
Asked if the larger aim is to reconnect with the youth who were said to have moved away from the Congress in recent times, Srinivas said young people got swayed by the “false promises” of Modi and the BJP.
The youth were at the forefront of the 2011 anti-corruption agitation against the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government launched by political activist Anna Hazare. The protests eventually led to the fall of the UPA government in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in which the Congress recorded its worst ever performance in its electoral history, winning just 44 seats.
“This is the 2011 moment for the BJP and the beginning of its end. The youth then went with them because they made false promises and spread lies against the Congress. The youth have now seen the unmasking of the BJP’s true face. The BJP had promised two crore jobs every year. Today, unemployment is at its all-time high. They have realised that the only alternative is Congress and Rahul Gandhi,” Srinivas said.
He warned that the protests will not stop till the government repeals the CAA.