Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra stressed that her party would fight to save the country’s communal harmony and ensure that democratic rights of every citizen were restored.
Priyanka interacted with protesters holding a demonstration against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) in Azamgarh on Wednesday.
“This is a fight to save the country, our democracy, our Constitution and our traditions. We will not back out from our fight. I am honoured to be a part of this,” Priyanka said on the sidelines while meeting the family members of anti-CAA protesters who were killed or injured in police action in Azamgarh.
The Congress leader said that she had gone to Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Lucknow and Varanasi to meet anti-CAA protesters and their families. “No one can stop me from going anywhere to meet anti-CAA demonstrators and to join them in their struggle,” she said.
“You have seen the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttarakhand which has stressed that reservation is not a constitutional right,” Priyanka said, alleging that the state government was trying to destroy the Constitution.
“You all have to stand up because all the laws which they are planning to bring in are not against one community but against the entire Constitution,” she said amid slogan shouting by the crowd.
Talking about police atrocities on anti-CAA women protesters in Biliriyaganj (Azamgarh), the Congress leader said, “The police beat up women and even ransacked their houses. Several youths were arrested along with Maulana Madni Three minors were also arrested. I will complain to the National Human Rights Commission about police atrocities in Azamgarh.”
On the directive of Priyanka, UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar ‘Lallu’ and Congress Legislative Party leader Aradhana Mishra went to the hospital to meet Sarvari Bano, who fell ill during the anti-CAA protest in Azamgarh and has been in the ICU for the past one week.
During the meeting, women narrated their ordeal to Priyanka and alleged that police officials were threatening them regularly. They also said that the police sprayed water at them so that they suspend their protest.
Interestingly, during her visit, Priyanka not only targeted the Union and UP governments but also Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who represents Azamgarh in the Lok Sabha.
The Congress leader’s visit to Azamgarh came against the backdrop of posters claiming Akhilesh Yadav to be ‘missing’ being pasted on walls at important places of the city. The posters questioned the MP’s absence in the wake of police action against women protesting against the CAA last week.
Accusing the BJP government at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh of trying to destroy the Constitution, Priyanka dubbed both as ‘anti-poor and anti-people’.
This is the Congress general secretary’s second visit to eastern UP in less than a week as earlier on Sunday she visited Varanasi on the occasion of Ravidas Jayanti.
Later this month, Priyanka is scheduled to address six rallies in the state starting from Basti on February 23 and take on the BJP government over farmers’ issues.
The Congress will take on the BJP regime in UP over issues like stray cattle, payment of dues to cane growers, irregularities in procurement of paddy and suicide by farmers in Bundelkhand. The party would also demand loan waiver for farmers, 50 per cent subsidy on power bills, cow sheds and watchdog allowance in every village.