Singing 'Vande Mataram' and reading out from the Preamble to the Constitution in various languages, Congress top leadership on Monday led a 'satyagraha' against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial Rajghat here, attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "dividing" the country and "hiding behind hatred" to tide over failures.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi led the charge against Modi, saying the one task which the Prime Minister excels is "how to divide the country" and "spreading hatred".
Addressing the protesters at the end of the 'satyagraha', he said, "people will not allow the country to be divided. Government is trying to stifle the voice of people...you are number one in spreading hatred...The whole of India will oppose Modi's efforts to divide the country."
He said Modi should tell students and youth, on whom police are showering lathis and bullets, why the economy has slumped to around 4% from 9% earlier and why they are not getting jobs. "This is why he is hiding behind hatred. Come out and tell the students and youth why are the economy is in the slump, why they are not getting jobs," he said.
He said the enemies of the country made full efforts to destroy the economy of the country but what the enemies could not do, Modi has managed to do.
Referring to Modi's remarks that one can identify the anti-CAA protesters by clothes, Rahul said, "when it comes to clothes, the entire nation knows you because of your clothes. You wore the suit worth Rs 2 crore. The people did not wear them." He was referring to Modi wearing a suit with his name inscribed on it during a meeting with visiting US President Barack Obama, which was later auctioned for Rs 4.31 crore and reportedly stitched at a cost of Rs 10 lakh.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rahul and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi were joined by a host of party leaders, including Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath and senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, AK Antony, Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma, KC Venugopal and Jyotiraditya Scindia among others.
Sonia, Manmohan Singh and Rahul besides others read out the Preamble to the Constitution of India as part of the "Satyagraha" protest. At the beginning, protesters observed a one-minute silence in solidarity with the protesters and those who lost their lives in the police action during anti-CAA protests.
Priyanka told the gathering that Congress has resolved to protect the Constitution in the names of all those "martyred" during the protests, as she read the Preamble in Hindi.
Kamal Nath and Gehlot said that their governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan would not implement the Citizenship Amendment Act as it was against the spirit of the Constitution.
"The identity of India is through its Constitution. We reject this law, and while respecting the Constitution, our government will not implement it," Nath said.
Gehlot said said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is misleading people on the NRC saying it was not discussed, while home minister was saying NRC will be implemented. "The country understands that they want to divide the country on religious lines," he said.
Venugopal said the satyagraha was organised to show solidarity with all the students, who are on the streets protesting for the cause of freedom of speech and expression.