Congress protest: Protesting against the price rise, the GST hike on essential items and unemployment, the Congress party leaders on Friday wore 'black clothes' as they staged a protest in the Parliament House complex While Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and other Congress leaders reached Parliament wearing black clothes, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra came to party headquarters in black salwar suit.
The protesting MPs of the opposition party raised slogans against the government demanding that the GST hike on essential items be withdrawn, with Sonia Gandhi standing with the women MPs of the party, holding a banner, outside gate number 1 of Parliament.
"Inflation has risen beyond the limit; the government will have to do something about it. This is why we're fighting," says Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the party holds nationwide protests against inflation and unemployment.
Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi took charge of Congress' big protest over unemployment, rising prices, GST and ED action in National Herald case. The Congress MP addressed a press conference at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi wherein he alleged that 'India is witnessing the death of democracy'. During the presser too, the Gandhi scion wore a black ribbon on his arm to mark the protest.
Responding to a question, Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Modi government is controlling all the central agencies while linking it with BJP's election winning spree.
"Hitler had also won elections, he too used to win elections. How did he use to 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," the Wayanad MP 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 onset of dictatorship is viciously attacked, jailed, arrested and beaten up," Rahul Gandhi said.
"My family sacrificed their lives. It's our responsibility because we fight for this ideology. It hurts us when Hindus-Muslims are pitted against each other,when Dalits are killed,when a woman is thrashed. So, we fight. This isn't just one family, this is an ideology," he went on to add.
'Do you have democracy in your party?' BJP hits back
Shortly after Rahul Gandhi's presser, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) presented a strong rebuttal questioning the Congress leader whether there is any democracy left in his party.
Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said Rahul Gandhi appeared nervous during the press conference.
"He (Rahul Gandhi) doesn't come for discussion in Parliament. Nirmala ji gave an answer on inflation in both the houses that how we are better than the world on this front (inflation). Rahul clearly lied. Congress runs away from discussion in the House. This protest is only an excuse, they just want to save the family from ED," Prasad said.
"Rahul should tell the truth to the country that why is he on bail and in which case? This National Herald case is on file even before our government came," he said.
Amid rain showers, Congress workers continued to protest against price rise & unemployment, at party headquarters in Delhi. The party on Wednesday alleged it was "under siege" by the government which, it said, surrounded its headquarters and the residences of party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as if they were "terrorists" and termed this an "undeclared emergency".