NEW DELHI: Several Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge, wore black-coloured outfits to mark their protest against the central government over issues like price rise and unemployment.
The protesting MPs of the opposition party raised slogans against the government demanding that the GST hike on essential items be withdrawn, with party chief Sonia Gandhi standing with the women MPs holding a banner outside gate number 1 of Parliament.
Here are the latest developments:
Over 200 Congress leaders detained
The protesters were stopped by the Delhi Police and not allowed to proceed towards the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Sonia Gandhi did not take part in the march. The other MPs were detained by police at Vijay Chowk.
In pics: Congress MPs stage protest in Parliament against price rise, GST hike
<p>Rahul Gandhi, along with Congress MPs, marches towards Rashtrapati Bhawan as part of the party’s nationwide protest. (Picture credit: ANI)<br /></p>
Rahul Gandhi, senior Congress leaders K C Venugopal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Gaurav Gogoi were among the 64 MPs detained and taken away from Vijay Chowk in a police bus.
Priyanka Gandhi who staged a sit-in protest outside the AICC headquarters was forcibly put in a vehicle by police and taken away.
Congress should be responsible & must co-operate as per the law: Amit Shah
Union home minister Amit Shah linked Congress leaders’ protest in black clothes to the party’s “appeasement” politics, claiming that it was to convey its opposition to the Ram temple foundation laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this day in 2020.
“Congress should be responsible & must co-operate as per the law. The matter is going on the basis of complaints that have been filed. As far as ED is concerned, everybody should respect the law and order situation in the country,” he said.
“Congress chose this day for protest and wore black clothes because they want to give a subtle message to further promote their appeasement politics because on this day itself PM Modi laid the foundation of Ram Janambhoomi,” he added.
However, Congress dismissed the allegation as ‘bogus’ and said the stir against price rise has clearly hit home.
“It is a desperate attempt to divert, polarise, give malicious twist,” Congress said.
The Congress leader staged a massive protest sporting black-coloured outfits.
While the male Congress MPs were seen sporting black kurtas, shirts, scarves, and headgears, the women leaders also wore black with elan led by party chief Sonia Gandhi who wore a printed crisp saree with a black border and a black blouse.
Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Malikarjun Kharge wore a black kurta, a black turban and a white dhoti. While Rahul Gandhi wore a black shirt for the protest, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra chose a black salwar suit.
Asked about the idea of wearing black, Congress’ deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi told PTI, “during the debate on price rise in Parliament, BJP members said they can’t see inflation, so today by wearing black we are expressing the anger our people are feeling, we are expressing that they (government) open their eyes to the reality of India today.”
Anybody speaking against this govt is viciously attacked, put in jail, says Rahul Gandhi
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that there is a dictatorship of four people in India today and that the nation is witnessing the “death of democracy”.
Rahul Gandhi said while addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters in the national capital, “We’re witnessing the death of democracy. What India has built brick by brick, starting almost a century ago, is being destroyed in front of your eyes. Anybody who stands against this idea of onset of dictatorship is viciously attacked, jailed, arrested & beaten up.”
Stop blaming Indian democracy for people’s repeated rejection of you: BJP to Rahul Gandhi
The BJP accused Rahul Gandhi of “blaming” Indian democracy and its institutions for the Congress’ repeated defeat in polls under him and the ongoing ED probe against him in the National Herald case.
Former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Congress leader made “shameful and irresponsible” comments and noted that it was his grandmother and then prime minister Indira Gandhi who had suspended people’s democratic rights by imposing Emergency.
Slamming him, Prasad said, “Stop demeaning the institutions of India to safeguard your corruption and misdeeds… If people don’t listen to you why are you blaming us.”
Section 144 imposed in New Delhi district
The Delhi Police imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in the New Delhi district except for Jantar Mantar.
Visuals showed Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra jumping over a police barricade placed near the AICC office. Congress MPs, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh and Ranjeet Ranjan were also detained at Police Lines Kingsway Camp in Delhi.
‘I am here to save my neta, my neta saves me’: Salman Khurshid
Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said that he was participating in the protests to “save his leaders” who in turn will “save him”.
Khurshid was asked about BJP’s jibe alluding to Sonia Gandhi and her children -Rahul and Priyanka that the Congress had rallied together to save the “family” at a time when Enforcement Directorate had intensified its action against the Congress interim president and the Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad.
“Why will I come to save the family? I’ll come to save my leader, my leader saves me. I have no issue if they make this a definition of family,” Khurshid said.
(With PTI inputs)