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Cong’s ‘black protest’ against price rise; Shah links it with ‘appeasement’ politics, Ram temple

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New Delhi, Aug 5 (PTI) Black was the colour of the protest for the Congress on Friday with Kurtas and headgears to scarves and sarees being among the sartorial choices the party leaders opted for as part of a novel protest to draw the government’s attention to what they said was a “grim” economic situation in the country.

The 136-year-old party which is known for its traditional approach to protests sprang a surprise with what many saw as an out-of-the-box messaging by deciding to have black as the dress code for its nationwide protest against price rise, hike in GST on essential items and unemployment.

However, Home Minister Amit Shah linked Congress leaders’ protest in black clothes to the party’s “appeasement” politics, claiming that it was to convey its opposition to the Ram temple foundation laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this day in 2020.

Everybody saw protests from Congress leaders of late in regular clothes but they especially chose black clothes for Friday agitation as Modi peacefully resolved an over 550-year dispute which was associated with the faith of crores of people, he told reporters.

The Congress is conveying its opposition to the temple construction and the issues of ED action and price rise are only excuses, he claimed and added that as the opposition party could not have openly expressed its opposition to the temple, it has tried to give a hidden message.

While the male Congress MPs were seen sporting black kurtas, shirts, scarves, and headgears, the women leaders also wore black with elan led by party chief Sonia Gandhi who wore a printed crisp saree with a black border and a black blouse.

The most striking sartorial choice was by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Malikarjun Kharge, who wore a black kurta, a black turban and a white dhoti, turning heads during the Congress protest.

Rahul Gandhi, who addressed the press conference at the AICC headquarters in the morning wearing a white shirt and a black armband, changed to a black shirt for the protest in the Parliament complex and a subsequent march of party leaders to Rashtrapati Bhavan during which they were stopped and detained.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra wore a black salwar suit as she staged a sit-in protest outside the AICC headquarters here. Amid dramatic scenes, she was forcibly put in a vehicle by the police and taken away.

Former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son and MP Karti Chidambaram sported black shirts with white ‘veshtis’ (type of dhoti), while Shashi Tharoor was seen in all blacks — kurta, trouser and ‘Sadri’.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress’ deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi, K C Venugopal, Deepender Hooda, Naseer Hussain and Imran Pratapgarhi, among others, were also seen wearing black. Hooda also sported a black ‘Uttarakhandi’ headgear.

Several women MPs were seen wearing black sarees and black salwar suits.

Asked about the idea of wearing black, Gogoi told PTI, “during the debate on price rise in Parliament, BJP members said they can’t see inflation, so today by wearing black we are expressing the anger our people are feeling, we are expressing that they (government) open their eyes to the reality of India today.” “Even the RBI Governor has conceded that there is high inflation but the BJP MPs and the finance minister have lied to people of India on the floor of the House that there is no inflation,” he said.

Congress spokesperson Shama Mohamed said the aim was to send a message of protest.

“It is a black day as Rahul ji said there is no democracy, democracy is dead in India. They are not listening to anything about inflation, so we are protesting,” she told PTI.

The protesting MPs of the opposition party raised slogans against the government demanding that the GST hike on essential items be withdrawn, with party chief Sonia Gandhi standing with the women MPs holding a banner outside gate number 1 of Parliament.

The protesters were 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 MPs were detained by police at Vijay Chowk.

Later a host of Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, were detained by police amid dramatic standoffs outside Parliament and the AICC headquarters here. More than 60 Congress MPs, detained by the police during the party’s protest in Delhi against price rise and unemployment, were released after about six hours. PTI ASK JTR KR PYK PYK

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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