Sonia, Rahul & Manmohan lead Cong protest

Monsoon session: Opposition parties back Congress, boycott Lok Sabha

Sonia, Rahul & Manmohan lead Cong protest

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday led their party’s sit-in protest outside the Parliament, a day after 25 party MPs were suspended by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

Some of the angry members of the Congress donned black jackets while others carried black flags during their protest near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue within the Parliament premises.  “Down with Narendra Modi! We want justice! Shame on you dictator!” the Congress members shouted slogans.

Leading from the front, Sonia Gandhi, 68, said: “Suspension of our MPs is anti-democratic. Democracy is being murdered.”

Rahul Gandhi said his party’s campaign for the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan would be further intensified.

“We will not budge from our stand and there will be no let up in our pressure (on government) as far as issues of corruption, Sushma Swaraj and Vyapam are concerned,” Rahul told reporters, making clear the party's intent to carry on with its belligerent posture.

Not a way: Manmohan

Manmohan Singh said the suspension of 25 Congress MPs was “no way” of resolving the issue. He said  it was the responsibility of the government to take into account the concerns voiced by the Congress.

Other leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, A K Antony, Anand Sharma, Sushmita Dev and Rajeev Satav accompanied the trio during the protest.

The protests are expected to continue till Friday–the period for which the 25 MPs have been suspended. Opposition parties like the Nationalist Congress Party, Janata Dal (United), Samajwadi Party (SP), the Left, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Trinamool Congress and others also expressed solidarity with the Congress and boycotted the Lower House on Tuesday.

A few opposition leaders approached Mahajan with a plea to review her decision.

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