In Bihar, the agitated Congressmen shouted slogans against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they were stopped by the police from going to Governor's House in Patna
MUMBAI — Scores of Congress leaders and workers were detained after they attempted to stage protests outside the Raj Bhavan here on Friday to highlight the issues of inflation and unemployment.
Led by Congress state President Nana Patole and city chief Bhai Jagtap, hundreds of leaders and activists carrying banners and posters and raising anti-government slogans, were stopped by a large posse of police near Vidhan Bhavan at Nariman Point as they marched towards the gubernatorial residence in Malabar Hill.
“We are protesting democratically, peacefully and were going to Raj Bhavan to lodge our protest against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government. The people are suffering under high prices and runaway inflation, the growing unemployment among the youth, the harassment due to the Goods & Services Tax, and related issue,” said Patole.
Besides Patole and Jagtap, the party’s top brass including Congress Legislature Party chief Balasaheb Thorat, former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Chandrakant Handore, Varsha Gaikwad were detained, taken forcibly to waiting police vans and whisked them off to the local police station.
Flaying the police action, Thorat said that in a democracy, “we have the right to protest” but the current BJP government is “trying to silence us”.
“Even before Independence, we had the right to protest and we shall continue to raise our voice against the hardships borne by the common masses,” declared Thorat.
The police also stopped vehicles sporting Congress flags and attempting to reach Raj Bhavan from different parts of Mumbai and the state as part of the all-India agitation, besides demonstrations carried out in other major cities in Maharashtra.
Protesters stopped from going to Guv House in Patna
A protest march of the Congress in Patna, Bihar was stopped by the police as hundreds of party workers clashed with the policemen at Bailey road on Friday.
The agitated Congressman shouted slogans against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Congress leaders said that they wanted to go to the Raj Bhawan and submit a memorandum to Governor Phagu Chauhan.
Madan Mohan Jha, the state president of Congress in Bihar, who was heading the protest march, said: “We are going to protest against the price rise of commodities, inflation, and the way Center has imposed 5 per cent GST on essential food items in the country.”
“We were on the way to Raj Bhawan to submit a memorandum to Governor Phagu Chauhan, but the police stopped us. There is no section 144 imposed in the areas where we have opted to hold the protest march. We have not breached the Covid protocol as well. It is hard to understand why the Patna Police stopped our march against inflation,” Jha said.
“Crime is on the rise in the state and criminals are running a parallel government here. They are openly roaming in the state, but the Bihar Police have no time to arrest them. On the other hand, if anyone raises the voice for common people, the state police are standing there to stop them,” Jha said.
“When other parties (including BJP) do the march, the police would not stop them, but when the Congress party does the march silently, they are not allowing it. Our fight against the Narendra Modi government will continue and we will do protest marches in future as well,” Jha said. — IANS