Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other party MPs and leaders marching from Parliament House to Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on August 5, 2022.
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other party MPs and leaders marching from Parliament House to Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on August 5, 2022.IANS

Congress protest march: Rahul Gandhi detained by Delhi Police

New Delhi, August 5, 2022

Several Congress parliamentarians, including Rahul Gandhi, were detained by the Delhi Police when they held a protest march against the Central government from Parliament House to Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Friday.

Gandhi, while speaking to the media persons before getting detained, accused the Delhi Police of manhandling his partymen.

"We are standing here on the issues of price rise and unemployment. We wanted to move forward but the police did not allow us,"Gandhi said.

When asked about the MPs being manhandled, he said, "That is fine. I'm happy to be manhandled. Our job is to resist these forces, our job is to make sure that Indian democracy is protected. Our job is to raise issues of the people like price rise and unemployment and we are doing that."

Earlier, the Congress parliamentarians began their protest march from Parliament House over the rising figures of inflation and unemployment in the country.

To register their protest, all the Congress MPs came to Parliament House wearing black clothes.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi was also present at the start of the march.

Earlier, addressing a press conference, Gandhi alleged that "this is an era of dictatorship and whatever was built in the past 70 years has been destroyed in the past eight years".

Referring to the denial of permission to the Congress to hold protests in New Delhi, where the police has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Gandhi said, "The opposition voice is stifled and we are not allowed to protest outside Parliament and speak in the House."

He said the media was being intimidated.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that this is an era of terror and the public should come out in support of the cause.

"All the institutions, judiciary, media are being controlled by the RSS, and all financial infrastructure is being controlled by them."

Delhi Police have imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in the New Delhi district except Jantar Mantar, ahead of the Congress party's call for nationwide protests against inflation and unemployment.

The party has decided to stage a pan-India protest on Friday and hold a demonstration outside the residences of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Droupadi Murmu. However, permission was denied for the protests in the national capital by the Delhi Police.

Despite the lack of permission from the Delhi Police, the party leaders said that they would go ahead with their proposed protest march.

Meanwhile, the party workers also started reaching the Congress headquarters at 24, Akbar Road in Delhi. The police have also maintained a strict vigil and have barricaded the road outside the party headquarters.

Gandhi alleged that all the institutions in the country are being controlled by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Launching an attack on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said that even "Hitler used to win elections".

"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," said the Congress leader.

Gandhi said that the more he talks about the issues of people, the more he would be attacked.

"Democracy is dying, what do you think, what do you feel? What this country built in 70 years was finished in 8 years, there is no democracy in the country, four people's dictatorship is going on. We want to raise the issue of inflation, we want to discuss, but we are being detained and are not allowed to discuss in the House also.

"I will do my work and I will be attacked more. The one who threatens, is the one who is scared. They are scared of the condition of the country. The promises that they have not been able to meet. They are liars. They lie 24 hours a day," he said.

Gandhi also said that the BJP keeps attacking the Gandhi family. "Why do they attack the Gandhi family? They do it because we fight for an ideology and there are crores of people like us. We fight for democracy, for communal harmony and we have been doing this for years. It's not just me who did that, it has been happening for years."

He claimed that what India has built brick by brick, starting almost a century ago, is being destroyed. "Anybody who stands against this idea of onset of dictatorship is viciously attacked, jailed, arrested and beaten up," Gandhi said.


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