Wearing black attires, Opposition lawmakers, led by Congress, on Monday undertook a march from the Parliament House to Vijay Chowk here to protest against the Centre over the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Lok Sabha and the Adani controversy even as the BJP termed the protest a “drama being enacted to mislead the people”.
The Opposition MPs raised slogans against the Centre at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at the Parliament complex and demanding the constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) over the Adani issue. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and the former party president Sonia Gandhi also joined the protest.
Holding a banner of “Satyameva Jayate”, the Opposition members took out the protest march from Mahatma Gandhi’s statue outside Parliament complex to Vijay Chowk, carrying placards and shouting slogans, seeking a probe into the Adani saga.
Trinamool Congress, which had earlier indicated that it won’t participate in the protests, also joined the march.
The protests took place soon after both the houses of Parliament were adjourned amid noisy scenes by opposition members.
Earlier in the day, the Opposition MPs held a meeting at the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s Parliament chamber to evolve a strategy for the day. The Opposition parties that participated in the meeting include DMK, Samajwadi Party, JD(U), Bharat Rashtra Samithi, CPI(M), RJD, Nationalist Congress Party, CPI, IUML, MDMK, Kerala Congress, TMC, RSP, AAP, J-K NC and Shiv Sena (Uddhav faction). Trinamool Congress MPs were also present at the meeting that came as a surprise development following Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as Lok Sabha MP.
Addressing the media after a joint Opposition march, Kharge hit out at the Centre over the Adani issue and Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification and said that the Opposition leaders were wearing the black attires to show that democracy is being trampled in the country.
He alleged that the Centre used the probe agencies to bend those who did not bow before the government.
“I thank the opposition leaders for raising their voice against Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification. Why are we here in black clothes? We want to show that PM Modi is ending democracy in the country. He first finished autonomous bodies, then they put up their own govt everywhere by threatening those who had won polls. Then they used ED, CBI to use bend those who didn’t bow,” Kharge said.
Reacting to the Opposition’s protests, Union Minister Anurag Thakur slammed the Congress saying: “Rahul Gandhi continuously insulted the OBC community and did not apologise to them. They don’t obey court’s order. Why are they creating this drama now? He can never be Savarkar as Savarkar never went on a foreign tour for six months.”
He further said, “They are not letting the Parliament session run for one man who goes abroad and insults India. And when he returns, the Parliament cannot run if he does not speak. Will the Congress party keep on insulting the OBC community like this? Will Congress keep wearing black clothes after doing black deeds? Will the party now resort to black magic to save itself?” the Union Minister said.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal, at a press conference, alleged that the Congress party is not letting Parliament run and is also misleading the people through its statements. He said the “Grand Old Party” is not letting Parliament run and is trying to mislead the people. The Congress MPs are holding “Black Shirt” protests against Rahul Gandhi’s controversial disqualification from the Lok Sabha. He also questioned whether the Congress wanted to disrespect the law.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri lashed out at Rahul Gandhi saying the Congress leader should fight the “court’s action in the court” instead of speaking against Veer Savarkar.
Earlier, addressing the media after a joint opposition march from the Parliament complex towards Vijay Chowk, the Congress president, while explaining the advantages of the constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee, said that there will be transparency after the report is out.
He further questioned the government stating that there will be more number of representations from the BJP and its allies in the JPC.
“They ask for authenticity for everything in the Parliament. The government has not been able to answer the questions raised by us. MPs of 18 parties are here today. Not a single party is missing. We are asking for a JPC on the matter. The truth will come out. Records will be checked. Whatever will come out, will be known to all. There will be transparency. Why are you scared of constituting a JPC? You have a majority. You (BJP) will have more members in the JPC or will have your allies,” he said.
“You are scared which means that there is something fishy. So we are all together today to show unity,” Kharge stressed.
Calling it a black day for democracy, Kharge said that the government disqualified Rahul Gandhi as MP from Lok Sabha with “lightning speed” and emphasised that neither Rahul Gandhi nor the Ppposition parties will be deterred.
“In Rahul Gandhi’s case, what he said in an election rally in Kolar, Karnataka, the case is filed in Surat, Gujarat. Because you wanted a favourable government. You want to use the police, you want to use, I can’t say judiciary, but you want to use for your purpose to defame Rahul Gandhi. It is a black day in democracy. The BJP government disqualified Rahul Gandhi with lightning speed. Rahul Gandhi will not be scared. The opposition parties will not be suppressed no matter how much you try to do so. We will not bow. We will try to launch a campaign in this regard,” he said.
Talking to a news agency, Kharge said, “If you take the law into your own hands, democracy will be finished. No one will have the freedom to speak. So we are protesting. Why is the government silent on how Adani became such a big man? We want JPC.”
Congress and its allies staged protests in parts of the country including in the National Capital against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as MP from Lok Sabha with some wearing black clothes while others sporting black bands in their respective places.
The Indian Youth Congress workers were detained in Delhi after they protested over the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as an MP.
Congress MLAs arrived at the Odisha Assembly today wearing black shirts, in protest against the Central Government and the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as an MP. The House was adjourned till 4 pm today amid sloganeering by them.
In Bihar, where Congress is in alliance with Mahagathbandhan comprising of JD(U), and RJD, the leaders of the alliance staged a protest march in Patna, sporting black bands, against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi.
Congress MLAs arrived at the Tamil Nadu Assembly in Chennai, wearing black shirts in protest against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as an MP. The MLAs also carried placards in his support.