New Delhi: The Congress’ protest at Raj Ghat on Sunday over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Registrar for Citizens (NRC) was shifted to Monday as the permission for it was denied due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at Ramlila ground here.
In a statement on Saturday, Congress General Secretary, Organisation, K. C. Venugopal said: “Congress party senior leaders will undertake a satyagraha at Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi at Raj Ghat on December 23, 2019, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. in line with the path of non-violence, yet consistent and unequivocal opposition shown by the Mahatma Gandhi, the Party’s satyagraha will fight against this dictatorial government and to protect BR Ambedkar’s Constitution.”
According to party sources, the permission to hold the silent protest on Sunday at Rajghat was denied by the Delhi Police keeping in view the Prime Minister’s rally at Ramlila ground. The Congress had planned the protest over CAA and the NRC on Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., even as Modi was set to address a massive rally at the Ramlila ground, his first in Delhi after the Lok Sabha elections.
Venugopal further said that there has been widespread resentment against the recent actions of the BJP government, amongst people across the country – especially amongst youth demanding the restoration and maintaining the sanctity of rights guaranteed by the Constitution. He alleged that the “dictatorial and stubborn” BJP government at the Centre and in different states has used “indiscriminate police force” against an ordinary citizen in the name of maintaining law and order.
“This has led to further worsening and spiralling of the situation and the Congress is committed to upholding the principles enshrined in the Constitution and fight for the continuation, maintenance and safeguard of the rights of all, as enshrined and guaranteed by our founding fathers,” he added. According to Congress leaders, all senior leaders including interim chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be present in the satyagraha.
On December 14, all top Congress leaders addressed a massive rally at the Ramlila Maidan, where Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on the BJP, before leaving on his foreign tour. Earlier in the day, Janata Dal-United Vice President and election strategist Prashant Kishor took a dig at the Congress leadership for not participating in the protest over CAA-NRC. The Congress has been facing flak over its non-participation in the protest over CAA and NRC. A day after the violent protest at the Jamia Millia Islamia, Rahul Gandhi had left for South Korea on an official tour.
In his absence, his sister Priyanka Gandhi took the centre stage and protested against the government as she joined the symbolic protest over the police brutality against students at India Gate on Tuesday. She again joined the protest of students at India Gate on Friday evening, soon after the protest over the CAA and the NRC turned violent near the Delhi Gate area in Daryaganj and a car parked just outside the Deputy Commissioner of Police’s office was torched and other vehicles vandalised.