New Delhi, March 26
At the day-long "Sankalp Satyagraha" launched on Sunday to protest the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi, top Congress leaders exuded hope for electoral change and Opposition unity in the run-up to six state and 2024 Lok Sabha elections, even as they rejected the ruling BJP’s charge that the former Wayanad MP insulted OBCs and the country.
“Can the son or a martyr who walked thousands of kilometres from Kanyakumari to Kashmir with the message of national unity insult the country or its people?” AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asked, addressing the “Sankalp Satyagraha” at Rajghat, where Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge questioned why the BJP felt hurt over fugitive Nirav and Lalit Modi’s criticism.
Priyanka Vadra, mounting a strong defence for her brother Rahul, said he was “raising people’s voices”, and noted, “I get a sense that everything is going to change after today”.
“Time has come to raise the voice against an arrogant government. If Rahul Gandhi can be barred from contesting elections for eight years, it does not bode well for the country or its democracy. Something is very, very wrong,” Vadra said, attacking the BJP leaders for “abusing her late father, her mother, her brother repeatedly.”
“This country’s Prime Minister is a coward. Take me to jail, but the truth is this country’s Prime Minister is a coward. He is hiding behind his power and (he) is arrogant. But this country’s tradition is that people reply to an arrogant king. This country recognises an arrogant king. This country knows the truth,” she said, adding that while no punishment has been given to BJP leaders for abusing her family, Rahul’s conviction happened in a jiffy.
“Lakhs of cases are delayed and linger in courts for years, but here the trial, the conviction and sentencing happened in a jiffy...How much will you insult one person?” she asked.
Vadra further invoked Lord Ram and the Pandavas in defence of Rahul and said, “Lord Rama persisted with his duty despite being exiled. Will you call Lord Rama parivarvaadi? Pandavas also did their duty. Were they parivarvaadis?”
Vadra asked the BJP if it wanted her family to be ashamed of their contributions. “The blood of my family has nurtured democracy in India. We are ready to do anything to preserve this democratic tradition. We are not scared. We will fight back with greater strength,” she said.
The AICC General Secretary for UP also attacked the BJP for mocking her brother as a “pappu”. “But when he walked in Bharat Jodo Yatra and thousands of people walked with him, you realised he is not a pappu,” she said, attributing Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as Wayanad MP to his persistent questioning on the Adani issue.
“When arrogant dictators are unable to answer questions, they retaliate with suppression. The entire Cabinet, the government and all MPs are trying to save one person. Who is this Adani?” asked Vadra.
Earlier, Kharge dismissed BJP accusations that Gandhi had abused the OBCs. “They talk of OBCs now. Is Lalit Modi OBC? Is Nirav Modi OBC? Is Mehul Choksi OBC? They fled with people’s money. They are fugitives. Why are you so pained if they are criticised? You (BJP) punish the person who works to save the country and help looters escape?” Kharge said pledging several satyagrahas in Rahul’s defence.
Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir in his comments predicted a stronger Opposition unity going forward and said, “Action against Rahul Gandhi has united the Opposition. This unity will grow and become stronger.”
#Congress #mallikarjun kharge #p chidambaram #priyanka gandhi vadra #rahul gandhi
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