Following the attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students on Sunday, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the BJP-led central government is using “dictatorial” policies that need to be answered through the non-violent way of Mahatma Gandhi. He was speaking after flagging off the “Gandhi Shanti Yatra” led by former Union minister Yashwant Sinha in Mumbai, where former Maharashtra chief minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan and state minister Nawab Malik were present.

“The government is using dictatorial policies. What happened in JNU is being opposed across the country. The government’s dictatorship needs to be answered with Gandhiji’s way of non-violence,” a statement said quoting Pawar after the yatra was launched at the Gateway of India in Mumbai.

Pawar also said that an atmosphere of fear is prevailing in the country on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the Nation Register of Citizens. He accused the government of creating a situation where people are feeling that they will have to stay in camps set up by the government in case they do not have the required documents.

“People are disappointed with the government due to the situation that has arisen in the country. Hence, they have taken to the streets in a big number. They need to be shown the right path, which is Gandhiji’s way of non-violence, which can save the Constitution,” he added.

The “Rashtra Manch”, led by former Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha, seeks to repeal the citizenship bill and a declaration from the government in Parliament that the NRC will not be registered across the country.

The yatra will culminate at Raj Ghat in Delhi on January 30, on Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary. Apart from Maharashtra, the yatra will pass through Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi covering a distance of 3,000 km, its organisers said.