On foundation day, Cong hits streets against NPR, CAA

Congress Party activists and supporters shout slogans during a rally against India's new citizenship law, in Guwahati. AFP

Congress on Saturday marked its 135th foundation day, with flag marches across the country against the Modi governments move to update the National Population Register (NPR), alleging that it was a surreptitious move to prepare a National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Congress President Sonia Gandhi umfurled the party tricolour at the AICC Headquarters here, while Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressed party meetings in Assam and Uttar Pradesh respectively.

The two states had witnessed violent protests against the Modi government's move to amend the Citizenship Act to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Rahul described the NPR and NRC as “notebandi no. 2” and asserted that it would be more disastrous than the demonetisation exercise announced in November 2016.

Lucknow witnessed some dramatic scenes, as Priyanka dodged Uttar Pradesh police officers and was seen sprinting and later riding pillion on a two-wheeler to meet those injured in the anti-CAA protests in the state capital.

Targeting the central government, Priyanka said that those in fear either resort to violence to silence the enemy or retreat.

“The BJP silenced the voice of the people through violence and cowardice, and is now retreating saying that it (BJP) has discussed NPR (National Population Register) and not NRC. The country is recognising your cowardice,” she said.

Amid raging anti-CAA protests, the Congress took out marches on its foundation day to take its "Save Constitution-Save India" message to the people.

In Delhi, the city unit of the Congress undertook an impressive march from the party office to Rajghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi nearby.

“The basic idea of these exercises is to ask all poor people whether they are Indian or not,” Rahul told reporters on the sidelines of the flag-hoisting ceremony at the AICC headquarters here before leaving for Guwahati.

Flag marches and rallies were also organised in Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and other state capitals.

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