Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “suppressing Bharat Mata’s [Mother India] voice and being number one in spreading hate” as the Congress held a five-hour ‘Satyagraha for Unity’ at Rajghat to express solidarity with the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Led by party president Sonia Gandhi, the Satyagraha asserted the primacy of the Constitution and demanded that the rights of people, as enshrined in the Constitution, should be protected. At the end of the protest, Mr. Gandhi alleged that the Prime Minister was trying hard to do what the country’s enemies had not succeeded in so far: to destroy India’s development and silence the voice of her people.
“Narendra Modiji, when you put pressure on the judiciary, then you are hurting India’s voice. When you unleash lathis and bullets on students, you are trying to pacify the country’s voice. When you pressurise journalists, you are trying to calm the country’s voice,” Mr. Gandhi said. “Narendra Modiji, don’t be under a false notion that you are not fighting the Congress. This is the country’s voice. I want to tell you and your friend Amit Shah that this is Bharat Mata’s voice.”
Earlier, Ms. Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mr. Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra read out the Preamble to the Constitution. Ms. Gandhi and Dr. Singh, however, left the protest after an hour and did not stay until 8 p.m. when it ended.
“In the name of Bijnor’s 22-year-old Anas, who used to earn money for his family through a coffee-vending machine and had recently gotten married. In the name of 21-year-old Suleiman, who was studying for the UPSC exam and used to take tuition. In the names of all the children who have been martyred in this movement. In the name of Bijnor’s Omraj Saini, whose five children are waiting for him and he is in the hospital, injured. In their names, we resolve today that we will protect the Constitution and will not allow it to be destroyed,” Ms. Vadra said.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Kamal Nath said their governments would not implement the CAA as it was against the basic principles of the Constitution.
Senior leaders A.K. Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma, Digvijaya Singh, Mukul Wasnik, K.C. Venugopal, Meira Kumar and several other members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) participated in the protest.