Opposition leaders, activists to protest in Mumbai against Centre’s efforts to change Constitution
The protest march will be held on Republic Day from Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue near Mantralaya to Chhatrapati Shivaji’s statue at the Gateway of Indiamumbai Updated: Jan 15, 2018 16:32 IST
Opposition leaders and social activists will hold a protest march on Republic Day against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s attempts to change the Constitution.
Prominent leaders like NCP chief Sharad Pawar, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, NCP leader Jayant Patil and activists like Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mevani and Tushar Gandhi are expected to take part in the 2-km march for the movement ‘Save the Constitution’.
The march will start from Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue near Mantralaya and will proceed towards Hutatma Chowk to culminate at Chhatrapati Shivaji’s statue at the Gateway of India. Here, many will stage a silent protest.
According to MP Raju Shetti, who heads the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) and is the convener of this protest, it will be an apolitical march to convey the people’s unhappiness with changes being made to India’s Constitution. “The government wants to change the constitution which has been the gift of Dr Ambedkar and pursue their divisive agenda. All the people who are against it will take part in the march,” said Shetti. “It is the protest march of the common people and there will be no political show.”
Ever since the BJP came to power, it is has faced accusations of trying to sabotage the Constitution. Last December, Union minister of state for skills development Anant Kumar Hegde had said at a public event in Karnataka that the Modi government would remove the word “secular” from the Preamble of the Constitution. “Seculars do not know what their blood is. Yes, Constitution has given that right to say ‘we are secular’... but Constitution has been amended many times, we will also amend it. We have come to power for that,” Hegde was reported as saying.
However, following uproar both from outside and within the party, Kumar retracted his statement and apologised. He claimed that his statement was distorted.