Congress workers and leaders are on Friday converged at the party headquarters in the capital to participate in the planned nationwide protest against price rise, hike in GST on essential items and unemployment. The party is also protesting against the alleged misuse of central probe agencies by the government to target its leaders.
Here are 10 key developments:
1) Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has been detained by police during a protest against the Central government on price rise and unemployment in Delhi. Earlier, Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, along with other top leaders, had reached the party headquarters in the morning. The party leaders, including MPs, are wearing black bands on their arms as a mark of protest.
2) The Congress MPs planned to march from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhavan while party workers also sought to gherao the residence of the prime minister as part of the protest. Earlier, the Delhi Police had denied permission to the Congress for holding the protest in the national capital, citing that prohibitory orders are in place in the New Delhi district.
3) "Today people are being trampled upon by inflation, there is trouble in the country. But the government doesn't bother," said Congress MP Manish Tewari.
4) Congress MP and senior leader P Chidambaram said, "This protest is about price rise and Agnipath. Price rise affects everybody. As a political party and as elected representatives we are bound to voice the grievances the burdens and the fears of the people. This is what we are doing."
5) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that India is witnessing the "death of democracy" and anybody who raises people's issues and stands against the onset of dictatorship is "viciously attacked" and put in jail.
6) "There is no democracy in India and there is a dictatorship of four people," Rahul Gandhi alleged. "What we are witnessing is the death of democracy. That is what India is witnessing. What India has built brick by brick, starting almost a century ago, is basically being destroyed in front of your eyes," Gandhi, who was flanked by party leaders Ashok Gehlot and Jairam Ramesh, said. "Democracy is now a memory in India and nothing more. There are going to be consequences of this because people of India will not be quiet about that," he also said.
7) "All Congress MPs were marching towards Rashtrapati Bhawan to raise the issue of inflation and price rise but they are not allowing us to go ahead from here. Our job is to raise the issues of the people... Some MPs were detained, and also beaten," said Congress MP Rahul Gandhi at Vijay Chowk.
8) Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi joined the protest as did Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. "Inflation has risen beyond the limit; the government will have to do something about it. This is why we're fighting," Priyanka said. She sat on a protest with other leaders and workers of the party outside the AICC headquarters.
9) From Bihar to Andhra Pradesh, Congress leaders across the country are protesting against price hike and inflation. In AP's Vijayawada, Congress workers wore garlands made of vegetables to protest against the Central government over the issues of price rise and unemployment.
10) "We are protesting peacefully against inflation, price rise, unemployment, GST rate hike among other issues," said Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge during Congress protest at Vijay Chowk, Delhi.