Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday led a nationwide fast by the Congress workers against the 'politics of division' followed by the BJP and 'anti-Dalit ' attitude of the NDA Government .
As part of the protest, Mr Gandhi participated in a fast at Rajghat with Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora , AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, AICC General secretary incharge for Delhi P C Chacko and several party leaders and workers.
Speaking to reporters, AICC media incharge said the nationwide fast being observed by Congress workers was aimed at highlighting the politics of division being followed by the BJP and the NDA Government and that it was an effort to promote communal harmony and mutual brotherhood that constitute the very idea of India.
''The politics of harted and division has marred this country under the Narendra Modi Government. Divide and rule is the policy of this Government. Divide the country based on castes is in the DNA of this government. They are also trying to divide the country on Dalit vs non dalit.
It is the solemn duty of the Congress which fought for India's independence to ensure that mutual brotherhood and respect for each other prevails in society with all its pluralism. That is the idea of India that we continue to defend which is why crores of Congress workers are sitting on the sadbhawana upwaas on Monday under Mr Rahul Gandhi's leadership,''Mr Surjewala said.
He said that the battle on Monday was between the idea of mutual brotherhood and love for all religions, castes and communities that represent the idea of India which the Congress represents, and the politics of hate and divison that was represented by the BJP.
''We will not allow the forces of hate and division to succeed,''he said.
On the allegations by the BJP that some Congress leaders were earlier on Monday seen eating at restaurant in Delhi before sitting on a protest , Mr Surjewala said,''certain conspiratorial forces are trying to belittle this large idea of pluralism, inclusiveness and mutual brotherhood which is symbolical of the essence of India. I reject the same in toto. Crores of congressmen are sitting on fast to urge the people not to get lured by the diversionary tactics of this government .''Before sitting on the fast, the Congress president also paid tributes to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.
Earlier, a minor controversy arose as the presence at the stage of Congress leaders Jagdish Tyler and Sajjan Kumar led to resentment among some Congress workers following which they were asked to leave the stage by DPCC chief Ajay Maken.
The day long fast is also aimed at highlighting the government's failure to ensure a discussion in Parliament on important issues such as the bank scams, the CBSE paper leak, farmers' distress, the dilution of the SC /ST Act, the Cauvery issue and Special Category status to Andhra Pradesh.
As part of the nationwide protest, the Congress workers are holding a day-long fast at all state and district headquarters.
The BJP MPs will also observe a fast on April 12 to protest the disruption of Parliament by the Congress. UNI APS-AR ADG1514
-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0092-1321021.Xml