New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) As the student stir against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act nearly seemed to have blown up in the face of the Centre, with not even the Yogi Adityantah government managing to keep peace despite a state-wide prohibitory order, the apparently key Opposition party, Congress is seen missing in action.
Except for in cameo roles since the protest erupted on December 15, where a few Congress leaders tried to be visible on camera and social media platforms, could not win any significant mileage, said a leader.
Despite huge protests across in many streets and despite its proposed plans for a pan-India Peace March across states on Sunday in direct confrontation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at a mega rally in the national capital’s Ramlila Maidan, the Congress is almost absent.
Priyanka Gandhi has been trying to fill the gap left at this crucial time by Rahul Gandhi, as he is travelling abroad. It is high time, said a leader, and added that the Congress needed him much. It is just the time as the BJP is trying to exploit the people sentiment, he added.
The proposed peace march will go on till December 28 and some of the key leaders will be Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who will lead one such march on Sunday. Sandeep Dikshit and Ajay Maken were part of the stir on December 19.
On Thursday party organisational General Secretary K.C. Venugopal did a protest in Aphuzza. But party failed to exploit the current situation with only Priyanka Gandhi giving token appearances on two occasion at India Gate this week.
The Congress failure has been pointed out by JD-U leader Prashant Kishore who tweeted: “Congress is not on streets and its top leadership has been largely absent in the citizens’ fight against CAA-NRC.The least party could do it to make ALL Congress CMs join other CMs who have said that they will not allow NRC in their states. Or else these statements means nothing “
The party decided on Thursday’s core group meeting asked the state units to start peace marches.
Even Priyanka Gandhi suggested to support the movement but Congress is cautious about supporting the movement. Priyanka Gandhi on Friday sat with students at the India Gate to show solidarity and said that the CAA is anti-people and it’s against the marginalised sections just like note-bandi was.
Rejecting Kishor’s charges, the Congress leaders said the party’s Youth Wing and leaders including Delhi PCC President Subhash Chopra have met the victim at Darysganj Police station late on Friday. On Sunday after Jamia incident Subash Chopra and Salman Khurshid were also at the protests.
They tried to highlight that Khurshid has been participating daily in the protest, though on camera the senior Congress leader have tried to evade any critical questions on the new Act.
Said his close aide of Khurshid that on the Friday, the leader was present at the Iinda Gate protest he was at forefront in the apex court also.
Salman Khurshid said: “I am opposing the CAA and have been part of peaceful protest.The Government should withdraw the the CAA which is against the constitution.”
On Friday Congress President Sonia Gandhi attacked the Government in a video and spoke in English from a teleprompter saying her party stands by the students and the protesting citizens.
She said that Congress expresses deep concern and anguished on the force used against the students and citizens of the country and the Congress party stands in solidarity of the students and citizens of the country.
In a video message, she said: “In a democracy people have the right to raise their voice against wrong decisions & policies of the govt & register their concernsa BJP govt has shown utter disregard for people’s voices & chosen to use brute force to suppress dissent .”
“This is unacceptable in a democracy and the congress condemns…the use of violence…and expresses solidarity.The CAA is discriminatory…and the proposed NRC will target the poor and vulnerable section of the society,” she said
Before this video message Congress asked its Rajasthan Unit to prepare for the peace march on Sunday where Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will lead it.
On December 28 party has asked it’s state units to oppose CAA and organise flag march across country.