The Congress on Sunday began a day-long ‘Sankalp Satyagraha’ at Delhi’s Rajghat in support of Rahul Gandhi following his disqualification from the Lok Sabha.
IMAGE: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, party leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Jairam Ramesh, K C Venugopal and other leaders arrive at Rajghat to protest against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as a member of Parliament. Photograph: ANI on Twitter
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, senior leaders K C Venugopal, P Chidambaram and Salman Khurshid were among the party’s top brass taking part in the satyagraha at Rajghat.
Jairam Ramesh, Mukul Wasnik, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Saktisinh Gohil, Jothimani, Pratibha Singh and Manish Chatrath were also present at the protest site.
Several leaders of the party’s Delhi also took part in the protest while a large number of party workers gathered outside the venue despite the police refusing to grant permission for the satyagraha.
In a letter, the Delhi Police said the request for holding the satyagraha was rejected due to law and order and traffic reasons and prohibitory orders under Section 144 Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) had been imposed in and around Rajghat.
A senior police officer told PTI that while permission for holding the satyagraha was denied, adequate security arrangements were put in place.
In response to the Delhi Police’s action, Venugopal said on Twitter, ‘After silencing our voice in Parliament, the government has refused to let us hold a peaceful satyagraha at Bapu’s (Mahatma Gandhi) samadhi as well.
‘It has become a habit for the Modi government to disallow every opposition protest. This will not deter us, our fight for truth, against tyranny goes on.’
The Congress has put up a stage outside Rajghat and are protesting against Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in a 2019 defamation case and his subsequent disqualification from the Lok Sabha.
It has announced plans for a day-long satyagraha in front of Mahatma Gandhi statues at all states and district headquarters to protest against the disqualification.
Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha on Friday, a day after a court in Gujarat’s Surat convicted him in a 2019 defamation case.
The disqualification will prevent Gandhi, 52, a four-time MP, from contesting elections for eight years unless a higher court stays the conviction.