Addressing the Bharat Bachao rally at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan on Saturday, Congress leadership including interim party chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and former prime minister Manmohan Singh slammed the "disruptive" policies of the Narendra Modi government.
The leaders accused the ruling dispensation of attempting to divide the country and took it to task for "failing to deal with" unemployment, the economic slump and distressed farmers.
'Not Rahul Savarkar'
Rahul, turning down the BJP's demand for an apology for his 'Rape in India' remark at Jharkhand rally on Thursday, launched a scathing attack on the BJP and RSS.
The Congress leader, speaking at the Bharat Bachao Rally conducted in Delhi's Ramlila Maidan, mocked the Sangh ideologue VD Sarvarkar and said, "My name is Rahul Gandhi not Rahul Savarkar. I will not apologise for speaking the truth".
Instead he demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for propagating the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill following which the northeastern states have witnessed violent protests.
Pointing to the demonetisation of 2016, the Congress leader also accused Modi of "single-handedly" destroying the economy
Rahul said, "Narendra Modi and his assistant Amit Shah have to apologise to the country instead for destroying India's economy."
"The country never recovered from it," he said at Ramlila Maidan, where the party held a mega protest against BJP's "divisive" policies, including economic slowdown , the amended Citizenship Act, farmers' distress and unemployment.
Referring to the hike in onion prices, Rahul said, "There was a time when this country was growing at nine percent, people spoke of the success story of China and India, called us 'Chindia'... but look at us today. There are people standing with onions in their hands. Onions have reached Rs 200 a kg."
Deeming the newly amended Citizenship Act "unconstitutional", the Congress leader claimed that the Grand Old Party would work towards safeguarding values of the nation and the constitution.
The rally was also attended by party interim chief Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
'Modi govt destroyed secular atmosphere'
Coming down heavily on the ruling party for implementing a "discriminatory" legislation, Sonia said, "Modi and Shah have zero regards for the Constitution of India. They don't even care about the fact that their Citizenship Act tears apart the very soul of Indian democracy."
In a rare public address, Sonia attacked the ruling dispensation for "compromising India's secular ethos". Sonia told a crowd of cheering Congress supporters that while the BJP was only interested in furthering its narrow-minded propaganda, the Congress party was ready to sacrifice whatever it takes to protect India's constitutional values.
It is the biggest crime to suffer injustice. Tell the Modi-Shah government that we are ready to make any sacrifice to protect our democracy, our constitution: Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi#BharatBachaoRally pic.twitter.com/30zinoQPEs
— Congress (@INCIndia) December 14, 2019
"We want to assure the people of India that Congress would stand by the tenets of Constitution and fight for Indian democracy till the end," she said.
The Congress interim chief also accused Modi and Shah of complete breakdown of nation's secular structure by their "divisive" agenda.
"Every Indian who loves their country should stand united and fight to save the idea of India. Congress party is ready to sacrifice whatever it takes to support people's fight," Sonia said.
'Modi hai toh mumkin hai'
Attacking the BJP for its "litany of injustices", Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that those who don't fight the prevailing situation today will go down in history as cowards. "If you love India, please raise your voice. If we remain silent today, our revolutionary Constitution will be destroyed. The division of the country will start and we will all be as responsible for this division as any corrupt leader of the BJP and the RSS,” Priyanka said.
Training her guns at the Modi government over rising high prices of onion, economic slump and unemployment, Priyanka said, "At every bus stop, in every newspaper, on every TV channel, one can see slogans saying, Modi hai toh mumkin hai (everything possible with Modi at the helm). Asliyat ye hai ki BJP hai toh Rs 100 kilo ki pyaaz mumkin hai, BJP hai toh 45 saal mein sabse zyada berozgari mumkin hai, BJP hai toh 4 crore naukriyan nasht hona mumkin hai, BJP hai toh 15,000 kisan ki atmahatya mumkin hai....(The truth is that under the BJP, it is possible that onion sells Rs 100 a kilo, it's possible that unemployment is highest in 45 years, it is possible to destroy 4 crore jobs. If the BJP is there, it is possible that 15,000 farmers commit suicide)".
She also raised the recent incident of the Unnao rape victim being set ablaze who subsequently succumbed to her injures at a Delhi hospital and remembered her father Rajiv and his sacrifices.
"When I saw the father of the Unnao rape victim burying his face in his palms and crying, I remembered my own father whose body I saw as a 19-year-old. My father's blood is in this soil just as the blood of the Unnao victim is nurturing this earth. This country is ours and it is our moral duty to save it," she said.
"When I was leaving their house, I asked a nine-year-old girl, the daughter of the victim's sister-in-law, what she wanted to become later in life. The girl did not answer at first, but later said she wanted to become a judge, someone who is above a lawyer. Justice is everyone's aspiration and we must all fight for it. At present, a litany of injustices are happening. Farmers are under stress. The poor are burdened with difficulties while the rich and their coffers are being filled. Today, someone who does not fight against this injustice will be called a coward," Priyanka said.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Dec 14, 2019 20:53:00 IST