New Delhi, Dec 17 (IANS) Amid widespread protests across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act, a delegation of 19 senior opposition leaders from 12 parties met President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday and urged him to ask the Narendra Modi government to withdraw the legislation.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Congress’ interim President Sonia Gandhi said that the whole country is agitating on the CAA, and the opposition was anguished with the police action against the protesters in the northeast and in Delhi.
“All of us, representatives of 12 different political parties, have met the President to plead with him to intervene in the situation in the northeast…. which is now spreading throughout the country including in the capital in the Jamia university, because of the Act.
“It is a very serious situation. We fear that it may spread even further. We are anguished at the manner in which the police have dealt with peaceful demonstrations across India. We have the example in Delhi where the police entered the Jamia Women Hostel and dragged women students out,” she said.
“They mercilessly beat the students…. not only here in Delhi… who were demonstrating, which is their democratic right, as is ours, to demonstrate. I think you all have seen that the BJP Government i.e. the Modi Government seems to have no compulsion when it comes to shutting down people’s voices and implement a legislation, which do not seem to be acceptable to the people and to us in a democracy,” Gandhi added.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that “the government knew that what is going to happen but did nothing on it, and in Assam five people have died and many have bullet wounds”.
The opposition leaders assembled at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament House before proceeding to the Rashtrapati Bhavan with Gandhi leading them.
The opposition delegation also included Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav, DMK’s T.R. Baalu, Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien, and the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s Sitaram Yechuri.