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Rahul says will oust 'casteist' Modi in 2019 after BJP's 'cruel joke' jibe

Congress party's protest comes in the wake of multiple issues like CBSE paper leaks, the PNB scam and the wasted Parliament session

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Anti-Modi protests: Rahul Gandhi leads  Congress fast against BJP, TDP protest; kerala bandh top 10 developments
Rahul Gandhi leads Congress party protests in New Delhi

accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being "casteist" and "anti-Dalit", and said the would always stand against the BJP's ideology and defeat it in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Earlier, the BJP had accused the of playing a "joke" on Dalits with its "farce of a fast" and mocked the opposition party, saying its leaders claim of bringing a change but cannot abstain from one meal and their president cannot wake up in morning even for a day as they are used to "of luxury". After a picture of Delhi leaders having a meal at a restaurant before they were to sit on a fast at Rajghat "against the alleged caste violence and communalism" went viral, the BJP latched onto it to claim that the opposition party's "double standards" were exposed and that it had ridiculed Mahatma Gandhi's principles of 'Satyagraha'. The BJP also said that the Congress' decision to keep the 1984 anti-Sikh riots accused Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler away from the main dais as its "admission of guilt". BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra took a jibe at the opposition party's nation-wide fast against the alleged caste violence and communalism, saying its leaders had come to the Mahatma Gandhi's memorial to talk about non-violence but the presence of Kumar and Tytler exposed the party's "real violent" face. Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre of disturbing social harmony in the country, Congress president on Monday led his party’s nation-wide fast at Raj Ghat in New Delhi. A statement from the party said that Gandhi had directed all party workers across India to observe a fast in their respective states and district headquarters.

Taking a dig at Gandhi over his attack on the Modi government over Dalit issues, Sambit Patra asked if he had abstained even from one meal when anti-Dalit violence had happened in places like Mirchpur, Gohana and Jhajjar when the Congress was in power.

Citing figures of anti-Dalit violence in five years of the Congress rule in the poll-bound Karnataka, he said the state had reported 9,080 cases crimes against the community and over 358 Dalits were killed.

Gandhi should tell them when he plans to sit on a fast against crimes against Dalits in Karnataka, he asked.

The protest comes in the wake of multiple issues like the CBSE paper leaks, PNB scam and a Parliament session that ended in a logjam without any major transactions amid constant disruptions. The party also plans to attack the saffron party over the violence that broke out during Bharat Bandh on April 2. “Peace and harmony have been embodied in the soul of this country and the responsibility to uphold it lies with the Congress,” the party said in the statement. Targetting the BJP government, the party said, “Clearly BJP ruled Centre and state governments didn’t initiate any steps to curb the violence neither to protect the fraternity, therefore it becomes even more important for the Congress to lead the nation in tough time.” 1. Congress protest against govt's failure today: Rahul Gandhi led a protest at Raj Ghat as part of a nationwide "fast" of the party to protest against the Narendra Modi government and non-functioning Parliament. Congress workers are holding a day-long fast at all state and district headquarters to protest against the BJP government and promote communal harmony and peace across the country. Gandhi is sitting with Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken and party workers to protest against the government's failure to hold a discussion in Parliament on key issues like the CBSE paper leak, the multi-crore PNB scam, Cauvery issue and a special category status to Andhra Pradesh. The Congress will also take up issues related to the alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act, farm distress and disillusionment among the youth. ALSO READ: United Opposition will defeat BJP, Narendra Modi in 2019: Rahul Gandhi 2. Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar asked to leave Congress protest area? Times of India reported embattled Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar were on Monday allegedly asked to leave New Delhi's Raj Ghat, where their party is staging a protest against the government. However, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Maken clarified that while nobody had been asked to leave, the enclosure at the venue was only meant for certain office-bearers of the party. In a press conference BJP spokesperson lashed out BJP hit out at Congress. Here’s what Sambit Patra said in a press conference. 3. Congress leaders spotted eating in Delhi; party defends action: Delhi BJP leader Harish Khurana claimed Congress leaders were earlier today seen eating at restaurant in Delhi before sitting on a protest and observing fast at Rajghat over atrocities on Dalits. Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely said, "Photograph was taken before 8 am, this is symbolic fast from 10.30 am to 4.30pm, it is not an indefinite hunger strike. This is what is wrong with these (BJP) people, instead of properly running the country, they concentrate on what we eat." 4. United Opposition will defeat BJP, Narendra Modi in 2019, says Rahul Gandhi: Rahul Gandhi asserted that a united opposition would defeat BJP, as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. "A united opposition will ensure the defeat of the BJP and prevent Narendra Modi from winning again from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency in the 2019 parliamentary elections," Rahul Gandhi said. 5. BJP trying to destroy multiculturalism in Karnataka: Rahul Gandhi said Congress will defeat the idea of BJP that is trying to destroy multiculturalism in poll-bound Karnataka.

Addressing a rally in Bengaluru, Rahul took a jibe at BJP president Amit Shah and said, "He can publicly state that all opposition are animals. This is a reflection on his way of thinking, this is a reflection on his culture, this is a reflection on what he has been taught, this is not the way of the " He further recalled some of the Karnataka leaders like Basavanna and Kempegowda and said, "they taught that the only way to move forward is to carry everybody together and to respect everybody." 6. Rahul rode in metro, browses for books in Bengaluru on Sunday: Rahul Gandhi took time off his busy schedule to ride in a crowded metro and went shopping for books at a bookstore in Bengaluru on Sunday. He boarded the busy metro at Vidhana Soudha metro station and alighted at MG Road station, after a five-minute ride via Cubbon Park metro station in the central business district. He walked into The Bookworm bookstore on Church Street in the upscale street to browse through books, while Siddaramaiah bought and gifted five books to him. These included Tamil writer Perumal Murugan's "The Goat Thief", British author Karen Armstrong's "A History of God", "The Art of Living" by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh and a book on the Japanese concept of 'Ikigai', which means 'a reason for being'. 7. Mood in Karnataka favours Congress, says Rahul after 6 round of "Yatra": Addressing a public rally in Bengaluru to mark the culmination of his "Janarshivad Yatra" covering all regions of the state, he also accused the Narendra Modi government of discriminating against the Congress-ruled Karnataka. "Karnataka's mood is in favour of the and we will the election," Gandhi said, winding up the last lap of his "yatra", which he devoted to mainly attack the Modi government. 8. Rahul, Sonia will lose their LS seats in 2019, says BJP: After Rahul Gandhi's prediction that the ruling BJP would suffer "the kind of collapse not seen in years" and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi could lose in his constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in the 2019 election, the BJP hit back with one of its own, saying the Congress president and his mother Sonia Gandhi would lose their constituencies. ALSO READ: 'Modi Scam Alert!' says Rahul Gandhi on Rafale deal: Top 10 developments 9. Dalit outfits call for bandh in Kerala: Meanwhile, a bandh has also been called by Dalit outfits in Kerala who are protesting against the violence which broke out during Bharat Bandh organised by Dalit organisations. Congress leader AK Anthony and Shashi Tharoor led the Congress party's fast at Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters.

10. The unravelling of BJP has begun, says Salman Khurshid: Against the backdrop of the Dalit protests, the farmers' agitation and high profile fraud cases, Salman Khurshid said "we need to look at whether with this performance should (the BJP) be coming back" to power in 2019. "On that the clear answer is a no." "I think that the unravelling of the BJP has begun and frankly I wouldn't be complacent but I think they have a very, very, very tough 2019," Khurshid said. MPs protest at Rajghat: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MPs are at Delhi's Rajghat to protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue over their demand for granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh. The MPs paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and took an oath in front of his statue, and vowed to keep the agitation peaceful. "We came here particularly to take an oath for the continuation of agitation to implement the AP Reorganisation Act which was passed on February 20, 2014. We want to do a peaceful agitation so we thought the Gandhi Ghat was ideal," MP YS Chowdhury said. "Central government should respond to us. We are requesting you through Gandhi ji right now. We have come to Rajghat, we have paid our tributes, and we have also taken our oath that we are going to fight till we achieve special status and all the rights," Ram Mohan Naidu said.

First Published: Mon, April 09 2018. 19:35 IST