Congress Holds ‘Black Protest’ Over Price Rise; Amit Shah, BJP Call It ‘Appeasement’ Politics

According to the police, a total of 335 protestors, including 65 MPs, were detained under 65 Delhi Police Act during the day.

Rahul Gandhi black protest
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, wearing black clothes, with party MPs during a protest march towards Rashtrapati Bhawan as part of party’s nationwide protest over price rise, unemployment and GST hike on essential items, in New Delhi, Friday, Aug 05, 2022. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi led the party’s ‘black protest’ against inflation, price rise, GST and unemployment on Friday. The Congress leaders were also detained for the day by the Delhi Police while marching to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The grand old party had called a pan-India protest on Friday and were to hold demonstrations outside the residences of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Droupadi Murmu, however, it was denied by the Delhi Police. According to the police, a total of 335 protestors, including 65 MPs, were detained under 65 Delhi Police Act during the day.

The ruling-BJP meanwhile took exception to the Congress’ choice of day to hold such a protest. “Congress chose this day for protest and wore black clothes because they want to give a subtle message to further promote their appeasement politics because on this day itself PM Modi laid the foundation of Ram Janambhoomi,” said Union Home minister Amit Shah.

Hitting out at the Congress for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, “Till now, Congress was protesting in normal attire but today they protested wearing black clothes. It’s an insult to Ram Bhakts. They chose this day as today’s Ayodhya Diwas which marks the beginning of construction of Ram Janambhoomi.”

Priyanka Gandhi black protest
Priyanka Gandhi sits in protest in Delhi against rising prices on Friday, August 5, 2022. (Screengrab: Twitter/ @INC)

The Delhi Police imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in the New Delhi district except for Jantar Mantar after the Congress party decided to hold nationwide protests against inflation and unemployment. Congress leaders said that they will go ahead with their proposed protest march despite no permission from the Delhi Police.

Visuals showed Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra jumping over a police barricade placed near the AICC office during a party protest against price rise and unemployment in Delhi. She was later detained by police during the Congress protest.

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Congress MPs, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh and Ranjeet Ranjan were also detained at Police Lines Kingsway Camp in Delhi. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi was detained by police during a protest against the Central government on price rise and unemployment in Delhi.

“Our job is to raise the issues of the people…Some Congress MPs detained, also beaten by police,” said Congress MP Rahul Gandhi to reporters during a protest against price rise and unemployment at Vijay Chowk.

“All Congress MPs were marching towards Rashtrapati Bhawan to raise the issue of inflation and price rise but they are not allowing us to go ahead from here. Our job is to raise the issues of the people…Some MPs detained, also beaten,” he said prior to being detained.

Priyanka Gandhi Rahul Gandhi
Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were detained by Delhi Police on Friday, August 5, 2022. (Image: Twitter/ @INC)

Congress held a massive protest even when the Delhi police have denied permission for it. The Paramilitary forces and the Delhi police have blocked the Vijai Chowk road and the route from Parliament to President’s House by barricades.

“This protest is about price rise and Agnipath. Price rise affects everybody. As a political party and as elected representatives we are bound to voice the grievances the burdens and the fears of the people. This is what we are doing,” Congress MP and senior leader P Chidambaram said to reporters.

Women paramilitary personnel are queued right on the other side of the barricades to stop the Congress MPs from protesting. They have also planned to gherao the PM House. While addressing a press conference Rahul Gandhi, said that there is no democracy in India now and that our country is under the dictatorship of four people.

Congress party leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and MP Mallikarjun Kharge among others chose to sport black outfits to mark their support for the protests called by Congress on price rise and inflation.

While Rahul Gandhi chose to wear a black-coloured shirt, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra chose to wear a black suit. Comparing PM Modi with Hitler, Rahul Gandhi said, “Hitler had also won elections, he too used to win elections. How did he do it? He had control of all of Germany’s institutions…Give me the entire system, then I will show you how elections are won.”

Rahul Gandhi further said, “We’re witnessing the death of democracy. What India has built brick by brick, starting almost a century ago, is being destroyed in front of your eyes. Anybody who stands against this idea of the onset of dictatorship is viciously attacked, jailed, arrested and beaten up.”

Soon after Rahul Gandhi’s press conference, BJP’s Gaurav Bhatia said, “Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had got bail in 2015 in the National Herald case. This case was filed long back and they were not even raising such issues (that ED is being controlled) then. It’s just a tactic to divert attention from the fact that they have been caught red-handed. Bhatia’s comments came after Rahul Gandhi alleged that ED and other independent institutions were being controlled by the BJP and the RSS and used to intimidate the Opposition.”

Congress black protest
Congress MPs K.C. Venugopal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and others, wearing black clothes, lie down on the road during a protest march towards Rashtrapati Bhawan as part of party’s nationwide protest over price rise, unemployment and GST hike on essential items, in New Delhi, Friday, Aug 05, 2022. (PTI Photo)

The Congress today is protesting against rising prices, unemployment and GST rate hike. In Delhi, the party leaders are marching to the Rashtrapati Bhawan from the Parliament. The party’s state units will hold similar protests across the country.

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Citing the restrictions, the Delhi police has denied permission to the Congress for holding a protest in the national capital. The protesting MPs of the opposition party raised slogans against the government demanding that the Goods and Services Tax (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 Congress MPs were detained by police at Vijay Chowk.

(With ANI, PTI Inputs)