New Delhi: Congress workers are observing a daylong fast in all State and district headquarters to voice their protest against the BJP government and to promote communal harmony and peace across the country.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi today led his party in a nationwide daylong fast against caste violence, communalism and the non-functioning of Parliament, for which the UPA major blames the ruling BJP.
Senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath, Sheila Dikshit, PC Chacko, the party’s Delhi unit chief Ajay Maken and Randeep Singh Surjewala were among the leaders at Rajghat, where the fast is being observed.
Party leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, both accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, were asked to not sit on the main stage at the protest venue when Gandhi was about to arrive, party leaders said.
Tytler and Kumar are charged with having a role in the riots in the aftermath of prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October 1984.
The 1984 anti-Sikh riots cast its shadow over the Delhi Congress’ daylong fast against caste violence and communalism with Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, listed as accused of their alleged role in the riots, being made to stay away from the main dais, party leaders said.
While a Congress leader said on anonymity that Tytler and Kumar were asked not to sit on the stage, the party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the BJP was seeking to create a controversy where none existed.
The dais was reserved for AICC members, former ministers of the Congress government in Delhi and sitting MPs, a leader said.
Other leaders sat on mats close to the main stage at Rajghat, the venue of the symbolic fast being led by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
The party’s units across the country are holding similar fasts today.
A senior Congress leader, requesting anonymity, added that Tytler and Kumar were asked to stay away. Kumar left the venue after that.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken was seen talking to Tytler, who sat on the floor.