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‘Govt using brute force, suppressing dissent’ — Sonia Gandhi attacks BJP over CAA protests

In a 2 minute 57 second clip, interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi rips into BJP for the “disregard of people’s voices” and “suppressing dissent”. 

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New Delhi: As the BJP’s troubles refuse to abate with protests gaining ground across the country over the Citizenship Amendment Act, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi tore into the government Friday for the “brute oppression unleashed” on students, youth and citizens of the nation. 

“The Indian National Congress expresses deep anguish and concern for the brute oppression unleashed by the BJP government against students, youth and citizens across the country,” Gandhi said in a 2 minute 57 second clip posted on the party’s official Twitter account. 

“There have been spontaneous protests across universities, IITs, IIMs and other leading institutions across the country against the divisive agenda and anti-people policies of the BJP government,” she added. 

Gandhi also expressed her solidarity with the protesters for their “just struggle” as, she added, the Citizenship Amendment Act is “discriminatory” and the “proposed NRC (National Register of Citizens) will hurt the poor and the vulnerable the most”.

“Like at the time of notebandi (demonetisation), they will have to stand in line to prove their and that of their ancestors’ citizenship,” Gandhi said. “People’s apprehensions are real and legitimate.”

The video has been released in English and Hindi.

Sources in the Congress’ social media team, which shot the video Friday, said the decision to record it was taken two days ago.

“There was a feeling that the media was not giving fair coverage to our protests, so we decided to do this” said the party source.

Another video is expected later in the evening, in which the party will air its views on the unrest in the country while surmising why people are protesting.  

Also read: Not Owaisi, not TMC, India’s Muslims must return to Congress after citizenship row

Congress opposed to citizenship act, NRC

The Congress has been opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act with many of its chief ministers vowing not to implement it in their states. Gandhi had also led a delegation of opposition parties to President Ram Nath Kovind to apprise him of the situation and seek his intervention earlier this week. 

She reiterated her party’s stand in the video. She pledged the Congress’ full commitment to “stand up and defend their (the people’s) fundamental rights and uphold the foundational values of the constitution”.

“In a democracy, people have a right to raise their voice against the wrong decisions and policies of the government and express their concerns,” Gandhi said. “It is the duty of the government to listen to the citizens and express their concerns.” 

According to Gandhi, the BJP government has shown “utter disregard for the people’s voices and chosen to use brute force to suppress dissent”. 

“This is unacceptable in a democracy,” said Gandhi, condemning the actions of the BJP government. 

Also read: Modi govt asks IITs, IIMs, varsities to track student social media posts amid CAA protests 


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