Sonia supporters block road, ask her not to resign
Carrying flags and posters, supporters staged marches outside the Congress office at Akbar Road in central Delhi and shouted slogans.india Updated: Mar 24, 2006 00:11 IST
A sense of deja vu descended on the Congress headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday as hundreds of party workers joined a show of solidarity for their president Sonia Gandhi after she quit as an MP on being accused of holding an office of profit.
The scenes were reminiscent of those witnessed nearly two years ago when Gandhi, the chairperson of the country's ruling coalition, had refused to become prime minister after leading the Congress to a decisive win in the general election.
Soon after she announced her decision to resign as an MP and chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC) Thursday, hundreds of supporters thronged the Congress headquarters to ask her to reverse it.
"Why should she always make sacrifices? Though we respect her decision and stand with her in this fight, the question we want to ask is how many times will she make sacrifices?" asked Mohammad Rafiq Warsi, an agitated Congress worker who said he had come to meet Gandhi from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
Another supporter, Digvijay Singh, who had come from Madhya Pradesh, said those who had forced Gandhi to take this decision were not supporters of development and they would not succeed in their attempts to dislodge the Congress from power.
Carrying flags and posters, supporters staged marches outside the Congress office at Akbar Road in central Delhi and shouted slogans while standing atop cars.
Even as police blocked the road outside the office to control the protesters, more Congress workers arrived in trucks and buses from various parts of Delhi and adjoining Haryana.
Shouting slogans like "Soniaji sangharsh karo, desh tumhare saath hai" (Sonia continue your struggle, the country is with you), Youth Congress members marched up and down the road.
Some of Gandhi's supporters even compared her to her mother-in-law, former prime minister Indira Gandhi, shouting "Yeh Doosri Indira Gandhi hai".
Members of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) that is affliated to the Congress joined the marches.
Some of the more enthusiastic supporters sat on the road and demanded that Gandhi take back her resignation.
"We want her to take back the resignation. She has not joined politics for power or posts but to serve the country and there is no need for her to resign," said Jyoti Ganeshpure from Vidharbh in Maharashtra.