Days after he accused the BJP government of trying to stifle “internal dialogue” and trample “divergent voices”, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi Thursday met a group of activists, including Greenpeace campaigner Priya Pillai, RTI activist Nikhil Dey and Rajendra Ravi of National Alliance of People’s Movements and told them that there should be an open dialogue between them and Congress.
The meeting comes at a time when the government is being accused of clamping down on NGOs. A joint statement by members of the civil society said they met Rahul and expressed concern about “attacks” on their freedom and right to dissent.
“Rahul Gandhi expressed full solidarity with the people’s struggle to safeguard hard-won Constitutional freedoms,” Rahul’s office said later.
“We have all been concerned about the new government’s attempt muffle the voices of dissent…When it comes to developmental issues, there is of course no national consensus. Some people may find the paradigm of development is not right. But this government is dubbing them anti-nationals and they are being persecuted and isolated,” said Ravi.