Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi today led the party's leaders and MPs in a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan in protest against “growing intolerance” in the country, accusing the Modi government of “unleashing a sinister campaign” to create social and communal tension. After leading the march from Parliament, Sonia handed over a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking his intervention in checking such incidents which are causing social divide.
“Sinister campaign is being unleashed to create social and communal tension. It is being done with the objective of polarising society and disturbing social harmony,” the Congress delegation told the President. The opposition party also expressed its gratitude to the President for speaking out “strongly and unequivocally against forces of prejudice, bigotry and intolerance,” its memorandum said while expressing deep regret that the Prime Minister had not deemed it fit to do so. “While the President has spoken, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is silent which clearly indicates his tacit support to such activities,” Sonia told reporters after meeting Mukherjee. “Worse, his council of ministers continue to harbour individuals who are contributing heavily to spreading hate and divisiveness,” the memorandum added. The Congress Chief also said,”Congress conveys its grave concern at growing atmosphere of fear, intolerance and intimidation being deliberately created by sections of ruling establish men.”
The march comes in the backdrop of protests by artistes, writers and scientists over the alleged rising intolerance reflected in the Dadri lynching, beef row and other such incidents. Following the march, a 125-member delegation, which included party vice president Rahul Gandhi and senior leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, met Mukherjee to submit its memorandum and seek his intervention. They also expressed their gratitude to Mukherjee for speaking out strongly and unequivocally against the force of prejudice, bigotry and intolerance.
Police had severely barricaded the route of the march and deployed a large number of personnel. Many Congress leaders were not allowed to march towards Rashtrapati Bhavan as cops allowed only a small delegation to enter it.