Rahul Gandhi steers country-wide Congress fast alleging BJP of communal disharmony

Apr 09, 2018, 16:08 IST | Mid-day online desk

The fast was held alleging BJP for instigating caste violence, communalism and the non-functioning of Parliament and to endorse peace and harmony. The party's communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala was also participated in the daylong fast.

Rahul GandhiRahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday began his party's nationwide daylong fast for several hours at Rajghat along with senior leaders of the party including Kamal Nath, Mallikarjun Kharge, Sheila Dikshit, Ashok Gehlot, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken.

The fast was held alleging BJP for instigating caste violence, communalism and the non-functioning of Parliament and to endorse peace and harmony. The party's communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala was also participated in the daylong fast.

The 1984 anti-Sikh riots cast a shadow over the 'Sadhbhawna Upwas' (fast for harmony) with Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, listed as accused for their alleged role in the riots, being asked to stay away from the stage where Gandhi and the other leaders were sitting.
While Kumar left the venue soon thereafter, Tytler sat in the audience along with party workers.

The fast at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial was replicated across the country by Congress workers in all state and district headquarters.
Party leaders said the fast for harmony is also against the communal politics of the BJP and non-functioning of Parliament, where the Congress wanted to debate issues of national importance such as the PNB bank scam, CBSE paper leak, alleged dilution of SC/ST Act, special status to Andhra Pradesh and setting up of the Cauvery water management board.

"This is a fight for the ideology and values which India represents. We won't allow the politics of hatred and division aimed at  garnering votes to succeed," Surjewala told reporters. Alleging that the Modi government's politics of hatred and division had marred this country, he said, "Divide and rule is the policy, like the Britishers, of the present BJP government. Divide the society, divide religions, divide communities, divide castes, that is the DNA of the Modi government."

He said the government had divided the country on religious lines and was now trying to divide it between Dalit and non-Dalits. Congress workers were fasting across the country to convey to people in the country that they should not be allured by the "diversionary and divisive tactics of the Modi government".

It is the duty of the Congress, the party which fought for India's independence, to ensure that mutual brotherhood, compassion and love, respect for each other, prevails in our society with all its diversity and pluralism, Surjewala said.

"That is an idea we will continue to defend," he said.

Asked about the row over Kumar and Tytler, he said, "Some conspirators in the BJP try to find meaning in everything small or the big thing."

He alleged that those who talk about such issues are taking sides with those who want to divide society.

"We will fight against the conspiracy till the last breath, sacrificing blood under Rahul-ji's leadership," Surjewala said. He said certain "conspirators" of the BJP were trying to "belittle" the large idea of pluralism, inclusiveness, mutual brotherhood and mutual co-habitation, which is symbolic of the very essence of India.

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