Amid high drama, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained by the police on Friday after she staged a sit-in protest outside the AICC headquarters as part of the party’s nationwide stir against price rise, GST hike on essential items and unemployment.
Dressed in black, as several other party members did to register their protest against the government, Priyanka Gandhi jumped over police barricades put up on the road outside the party headquarters and squatted on the road, with police personnel asking her to move from there as Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is in force in the entire area of New Delhi district except Jantar Mantar.
The Congress general secretary was subsequently put into a vehicle forcibly by police and taken away. In a video from inside the police vehicle shared by the Congress party, Priyanka Gandhi said “they think that by showing force they can silence us and force us into a compromise.”
“Why will we do that?” she asked. “Their ministers cannot see price rise, so we wanted to walk till Prime Minister’s House and show the high inflation, show the gas cylinder whose price is sky high,” she said.
“There is no inflation for Modiji, he has given away the country’s wealth to 2-4 people….Two-four people have become very rich, but the common person is suffering. They have a lot of money, they can’t see price rise. Flour, rice, cooking gas have all become expensive,” she alleged.
Earlier in the day, Congress MPs, including former party chief Rahul Gandhi, staged a protest in the Parliament House complex and took out a march towards Rashtrapati Bhawan. 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party raised slogans against the government, demanding that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) hike on essential items be withdrawn, with party chief Sonia Gandhi standing with the women MPs of the party holding a banner outside gate number 1 of Parliament.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 Rashtrapati Bhawan. Sonia Gandhi did not take part in the march. The other Congress MPs were detained by police at Vijay Chowk.
Meanwhile, earlier on Friday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that India is witnessing the “death of democracy” and anybody who stands against the onset of dictatorship is “viciously attacked”. Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi ahead of the nationwide protest by the Congress, Rahul Gandhi said the sole agenda of the government is that people’s issues such as price rise, unemployment and violence in society must not be raised.
“There is no democracy in India and there is a dictatorship of four people,” he said. “What we are witnessing is the death of democracy. That is what India is witnessing. What India has built brick by brick, starting almost a century ago, is basically being destroyed in front of your eyes,” Rahul Gandhi said.