On Gandhi Jayanti, Congress signals prolonged protests against Modi government

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday invoked Mahatma Gandhi on the Father of the Nation’s 151st birth anniversary to declare that he is not afraid of anyone in this world.

“I will not fear anyone in the world … I will not bow down to anyone’s injustice. I will win the untruth with the truth and I can bear all the sufferings while opposing the untruth,” Rahul quoted Gandhi.

On Thursday, UP Pradesh (UP) Police had held Rahul along with his sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi when they had tried to enter Hathras, which grabbed the headlines following the gang-rape and murder of a Dalit teenager (19) by four upper caste men.

Also Read: Hathras gang-rape: Lawyers demand president’s rule in Uttar Pradesh

Rahul’s comment also underlined his intentions about his next round of agitations against the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

He will visit Punjab on Saturday to participate in a few programmes against the newly enacted farm bills that the opposition parties claim will only benefit traders and corporate entities in the agribusinesses.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, too, in her message on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, announced that the party would continue to fight against the farm laws. “The Congress’s agitation against three black (farm) laws will continue. I want to emphasise that this movement of farmers and the Congress will be successful and the farmers will win.”

According to Rahul’s aides, Punjab chief minister Amrinder Singh has organised a raft of protest programmes, including a tractor rally, on Saturday. Rahul is expected to participate in a few of those programmes.

Also Read: Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Mamata slam UP govt over Hathras gangrape

His aides said though many state units of the party have requested Rahul to attend their regional protest programmes, a final call on his participation in the upcoming events would be taken after factoring in the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak across the country.

On Thursday, the Uttar Pradesh administration had sealed off Hathras and the UP Police arrested Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra.

The Gandhis’ visited Hathras amid the Dalit victim’s family members’ allegations that the UP Police hurriedly cremated her at the dead of night at around 2:30 am on Wednesday in a bid to contain the public outcry against the heinous crime.

Sonia in her message also spoke about the “injustice” meted out to farmers, labourers and the working class, signalling that the Congress will continue its protests against the Modi government.

“Today is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest sympathiser of farmers, labourers and working people. Gandhiji used to say that the soul of India resides in India’s villages, fields and barns. Today is also the birth anniversary of our former PM, Lal Bahadur Shastri, who gave the slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’,” she said.

“But today the farmers and farm labourers of the country are agitating on the streets against the three anti-black laws. The Modi government is crying tears of blood to the donor farmer who grows grains for the country by sweating his blood,” she said.

She reminded the public that the Congress has “always made every law with public consent” and before the enactment of the law, “the interests of the people have been kept at the top”.

She added: “Democracy also means that every decision of the country has the consent of the countrymen. But does the Modi government believe it? Perhaps, the Modi government does not remember that it was not able to change the ‘Right Compensation Law of the Land’ for the rights of farmers through ordinance.”

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