Mumbai: Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha flagged off a march against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC), and the recent violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) from the Gateway of India to Rajghat. NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who joined Mr Sinha, said that the Narendra Modi government is using dictatorial means across the country. Mr Pawar also condemned the violence at JNU, saying that it hurt the sentiments of the students’ community. Rashtrapita Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings on non-violence should be used as an answer to the government’s autocracy, he added. The veteran politician flagged off the Gandhi Shanti Yatra from the Gateway of India.
In a statement issued by the NCP office, Mr Pawar was quoted as saying, “The government is using dictatorial policies. What happened at JNU is being opposed across the country. The government’s dictatorship needs to be answered with Gandhiji’s way of non-violence”.
He also termed all Indian citizens as “representatives of independent India and shareholders of the country,” and claimed that the government has left the people disappointed with its moves like the CAA.
Referring to the protests against the CAA, the NCP chief claimed that a big section of society is feeling disappointed with the government. “Some steps taken by the Union government have given a jolt to the country’s unity. Members of some small sections of the society feel that their interests are not being protected,” the former Union defence minister said.
He also noted that there are members of several sections of society, including the minorities, who cannot tell where they came from and where they will live. “They will be forced to live in some camps (detention centres allegedly to be set up by the government). The government has left the representatives of independent India and shareholders of the country disappointed. Hence, we need to create awareness in society and need to ensure unity among all sections of society,” the 79-year-old Maratha leader asserted.
Mr Sinha said, “We will protect the Constitution drafted by Dr Ambedkar. We will not let the country be partitioned again. We will not let Gandhi be murdered again. We are all one and will remain one.”