New Delhi: Wearing black clothes, Congress MPs, including former party chief Rahul Gandhi, staged a protest in the Parliament House complex on Friday and took out a march towards the Rashtrapati Bhawan as part of their nationwide stir against price rise, the GST hike on essential items and unemployment.
It is said that congress is holding a massive protest even when the Delhi police have denied permission for it.
The protesting MPs of the opposition party raised slogans against the government demanding that the GST hike on essential items be withdrawn, with party chief Sonia Gandhi standing with the women MPs of the party holding a banner outside gate number 1 of Parliament.
The protesters were, however, stopped by the Delhi Police and not allowed to proceed towards the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Sonia Gandhi did not take part in the march. The other MPs were detained by police at Vijay Chowk.
Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, senior party leaders K C Venugopal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Gaurav Gogoi were detained and taken away in a police bus from Vijay Chowk.
Speaking to the media at Vijay Chowk, Rahul Gandhi said, ”We are here to raise the issue of price rise.” He also said ”democracy is being murdered”.
Asked if the MPs were manhandled, he answered in the affirmative.
”Our job is to resist these forces, our job is to ensure that democracy in India is protected, our job is to raise the issues of people. We are doing that,” the former Congress chief said.
He alleged that some of the party MPs were even ”beaten up” by police.
”Again today, Congress MPs denied democratic right to protest against price rise, unemployment and GST. Bundled into police vans at Vijay Chowk. It’s clear, only those who are afraid try to instill fear!” party leader Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet. The Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, wore black shirts and black bands on their arms.
Chowdhury, the Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, said the party is trying to draw the attention of a government that is completely ”indifferent to the astronomical price rise”.
At Vijay Chowk, the Congress protesters were seen resisting police personnel who were trying to take them away.
Congress leader Manish Tewari posted a video message on Twitter from a police bus, saying they were trying to march towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan when they were detained at Vijay Chowk.
Leaders and workers of the Congress assembled at the party headquarters here to participate in the nationwide protest against price rise, the hike in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on essential items and unemployment.
The party is also protesting against the alleged misuse of probe agencies by the government to target its leaders.
Top Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, reached the party headquarters in the morning.
The Delhi Police has denied permission to the opposition party to stage a protest in the national capital as prohibitory orders are in place in New Delhi district.
The Congress workers also seek to gherao Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence.
The protesting Congress MPs tied lemons, chilies and empty packets of dairy products around their neck as a mark of protest.
Meanwhile, security at the Congress headquarters has been beefed up as the party workers, led by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, are slated to gherao the prime minister’s residence.
A large number of police personnel has been deployed at 24, Akbar road amid heavy rains in Central Delhi.
The entire lane leading up to the Congress office has been barricaded and the media barred to enter the party office.