Updated: December 17, 2019 9:58:20 pm
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, along with a number of leaders from opposition parties, Tuesday met President Ram Nath Kovind to register their protest over the police action against students of Jamia Millia Islamia University and repeal the contentious amendment made to the Citizenship Act.
Addressing the press after the meeting, Gandhi said, “All of us, representatives of 12 different political parties have met the President to plead with him to intervene in the situation in the Northeast, which is now spreading throughout the country including the capital in the Jamia University, because of the Act.
“It is a very serious situation. We fear that it may spread even further. We are anguished at the manner in which the police have dealt with peaceful demonstrations across India,” she added.
She also accused the police of entering women’s hostels in Jamia and assaulting students. “They mercilessly beat the students not only here in Delhi, who were demonstrating, which is their democratic right, as is ours, to demonstrate.”
Memorandum submitted by leaders of opposition parties to President Ram Nath Kovind. Opposition leaders urged the President to intervene and advise the Govt to repeal the #CitizenshipAct @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/zscqMYKeD7
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“I think you all have seen that the BJP Government i.e. the Modi Government seems to have no compulsion when it comes to shutting down people’s voices and implement a legislation, which do not seem to be acceptable to the people and to us in a democracy,” she said.
The Opposition unanimously said that they had warned the government about the reverberations of the said amendments to the Citizenship Act but the government was in a rush. They also demanded a judicial probe into police action against Jamia students. Follow Citizenship Amendment Act Protests LIVE Updates
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said, “We have said that he cannot allow his government to violate the Constitution in this brazen manner. We urged the President to give his advice to the government to withdraw this law.”
Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said, “We have asked the President to please advise the government to withdraw this diabolical, divisive act. This act will affect the poorest of the poor.”
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said, “We have urged the President that the fears expressed by us in Parliament during the passage of the bill are proving right. This is a law that is taking the country towards its division. The CAA has put fear in the minds of the people and it will have bad results. Our government is giving an opportunity to break the country.”
On Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that certain groups with vested interests are trying to create disturbance and helping Pakistan, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, “We challenge the prime minister to have a debate with us. I challenge him for a one-on-one debate where we will highlight who embraced Nawaz Sharif and who released the terrorists and who wanted to be more friendly to Pakistan. It is they who have sympathies with Pakistan and accuse the opposition (of it). We challenge him for a debate.”
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “This law is not in the interest of the country as it divides people. They (BJP) do not bother about the country.”
The delegation comprised of leader from at least 12 political parties, including the Congress, CPI-M, CPI, DMK, SP, TMC, RJD, National Conference, IUML and AIUDF. The Bahujan Samaj Party MPs from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha would be meeting the President separately on Wednesday, party leader Danish Ali said.
The Opposition leaders had on Monday said they would lodge their protest with the President against the government over the police action and the amendments to the citizenship law.
(With inputs from PTI)
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