Congress spreads its protest from Parliament to streets

RSTV Bureau
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New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi and other leaders near Gandhi statue at Parliament on Wednesday. Photo – PTI

On Tuesday, Congress party vice president Rahul Gandhi had asserted that his party will not call off its offensive against the Modi government and will even take on the streets if required. On Wednesday, the principal opposition party held a strong protest against the suspension of its 25 MPs from Lok Sabha not just at the Parliament but also outside the official residence of Speaker Sumitra Mahajan in New Delhi.

While the party chief Sonia Gandhi, former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi himself led the protest for the second day at the Gandhi statue in Parliament complex, the party’s youth wing and students outfit carried the day outside Ms Mahajan’s residence.

Resuming its protest in the Parliament complex, the Congress party got support from the leaders of six other opposition parties.

Sharad Yadav, KC Tyagi and Ali Anwar of the JD (U), Dharmendra Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, Jaya Prakash Narayan Yadav of the RJD, P Karunakaran of the CPI (M), D Raja of the CPI and E Ahamed of the IUML were among the leaders from the other political parties who participated in the protests.

Sonia Gandhi led from the top raising slogans along with engineering her party members on the direction of the protest. “End dictatorship”, “Prime Minister break silence”, “Where have the Achhe din gone”, “Sushma Swaraj resign”, were among the slogans raised by the members of the Congress party who took on the BJP-led NDA government, concentrating their criticism against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We will continue the agitation tomorrow”, Sonia Gandhi told the press at the Parliament House. On being asked by the journalists if the party has got any proposal from the government, Ms Gandhi replied that she is “not aware” of any proposal from the government to end the logjam or a proposal on revocation of the suspension of 25 Congress MPs.

Firming up their protest, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said, “We have not liked the Lok Sabha Speaker’s decision on suspension of Congress MPs but we respect her position”. At the same time his party colleague and Congress chief whip in the lower house Jyotiraditya Scindia said suspended MPs will not seek an apology from the Speaker.

“Where is the question of apology? What wrong has been done? Carrying placards has been going on for the past 65 years,” remarked Mr Scindhia.

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New Delhi: Indian Youth Congress activists being detained by the police during their protest against Speaker Sumitra Mahajan at her residence in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo – PTI

Supporting the Congress leaders, RJD MP Jai Prakash Yadav said suspension of Congress MPs was a black day for democracy. Threatening to intensify the fight against the ruling dispensation he said, “We will continue the fight against this (suspension order). We will take the fight to the street”.

Though, not supporting Congress party in their protest, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati also said the suspension of 25 Congress MPs is not right and it should be revoked.

While few meters south of the Parliament premises, Congress youth wing and students wing marched towards the Speaker’s official residence at Akbar Road.

As the protest intensified, some party workers were detained after they reportedly clashed with the police. Some protesters also received minor injuries when police used water cannons to disperse the crowd.

At Jantar Mantar too, the workers of DPCC, led by its chief and former Union minister Ajay Maken, attempted to march towards Parliament House but were prevented by the police and the central security forces.

(With inputs from the PTI)