Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday said a martyred prime minister's son who walked thousands of kilometres for national unity can never insult the country as the Congress held a nationwide protest against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Lok Sabha.
Priyanka Gandhi was addressing a gathering at Rajghat -- the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi -- here to protest against Rahul Gandhi's conviction in a 2019 defamation case and his subsequent disqualification from the Lok Sabha.
“The prime minister of this country is a coward. Slap a case on me, send me to jail. But the truth is that the prime minister of this country is a coward … he is hiding behind his power, he is arrogant. This country has an old tradition, Hinduism has an old tradition the public will respond to the arrogant ruler,” said Priyanka.
She said the time had come to raise a voice against an "arrogant government" as barring Rahul Gandhi from contesting elections does not bode well for the country and its democracy.
The Congress leader alleged that Rahul Gandhi was disqualified for questioning the prime minister on industrialist Gautam Adani and people will give a befitting reply to those behind the action.
"My family's blood has ploughed democracy in this country. We are ready to do anything for this country's democracy. Great leaders of the Congress laid the foundation of democracy in this country.
"Time has come and we are not the ones who will remain silent anymore," she told the gathering at the "Sankalp Satyagraha" outside Rajghat.
Asking if a martyred prime minister's son can insult the country, Priyanka Gandhi said, "This is an insult to that prime minister who gave his life."
"You call my brother, the son of a martyr, a traitor and Mir Jafar. You insult his mother. Your Chief Minister says Rahul Gandhi doesn't know who his mother is. You insult my family every day. But no cases are filed," Priyanka Gandhi said.
"Your Prime Minister asks in Parliament why this family does not keep the surname of Nehru, the entire family is insulted, the customs of the Kashmiri Pandit community is insulted. Following the custom of Kashmiri Pandits, a son wears ‘pagdi’ after his father’s death, taking forward his family’s tradition. But there is no case against you, you don’t get a sentence of two years, you are not thrown out of Parliament, you are not stopped from contesting elections for many years," she said.
The Congress leader said her family had been silent despite repeated insults. “What did my brother do? He walked up to Modi in Parliament and hugged him. He said I don’t hate you … I don’t have any hatred for you, our ideologies are different but our ideology is not of hatred … Ek aadmi ka kitna apman karoge (how much will you insult one man)? Is this our country’s tradition?”
Priyanka said the icons of the Congress laid the foundation of Indian democracy. “The Congress fought for India’s freedom and today also we are fighting for the country’s freedom.”
Thanking all the political parties that extended support to her brother, Priyanka said, “We all have to unite now because the country is in danger. The country’s wealth is being given to one person and the entire government stands up to save that one person …”
Meanwhile, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge slammed the BJP over its accusation that Rahul insulted the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) with his remark for which he has been convicted and asked why the ruling party is “pained” if fugitives such as Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi are criticised.
“They talk of OBC now, is Lalit Modi OBC, is Nirav Modi OBC, is Mehul Choksi OBC? They ran away with people’s money. If they are fugitives why are you pained if they are criticised? You (BJP) punish the person who works to save the country and send those abroad who loot the country,” Kharge said.
"Rahul Gandhi only raised the issue of these fugitives fleeing with black money. The Congress will hold hundreds of such protests across the country. We will fight to preserve Freedom of Speech. I thank all Opposition parties for standing with Rahul Gandhi," he said.
Top party leaders P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, Salman Khursheed, Pramod Tiwari, Ajay Maken, Mukul Wasnik and Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, were also seen at the protest. Delhi Police maintained a tight vigil in the area and banned large gatherings around Rajghat.