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Sonia leads march to Prez, attacks PM on intolerance

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New Delhi: Taking to the streets, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today marched to Rashtrapati Bhavan with top party leaders against the climate of intolerance and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “endorsing” incidents of hate by his “silence”. Leading a delegation of over 100 leaders after a one kilometre walk from Parliament over the Raisina Hill, she handed over a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee, expressing grave concern at the “growing atmosphere of fear, intolerance and intimidation in the country being deliberately created by sections of the ruling establishment”.

“Some organisations, some people who are connected with Modiji or are part of the government are making an assault on the composite culture and basic values of India. Intolerance is being fuelled,” she told reporters after the meeting. “Whatever incidents are happening in the country today are part of a well thought-out strategy being adopted deliberately to divide our society,” she said asserting that Congress will fight these forces with all its might. The Congress President said what was happening in the country was a matter of deep concern to every Indian and the President has already made clear his views on them.

“But the Prime Minister is silent. It clearly indicates that he endorses all these incidents,” said Gandhi, who was flanked by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, leaders of the party in Parliament Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad, besides Rahul Gandhi and A K Antony. The march was taken out against the back drop of intolerance ever since the Dadri lynching and the susequent campaign over beef controversy and other hate incidents.


Rahul Gandhi also attacked the Prime Minister for his “silence” and said he does not believe it is necessary for him to speak on these incidents while the President and the RBI Governor have conveyed their concerns. “The Prime Minister and the Finance Minister believe nothing is happening in the country and they feel everything is fine. This is the heart of the problem. These people believe in intolerance. Ideologically they are not tolerant.

“It is not a matter of just Congress party alone. It is a problem of every single Indian …and the PM does not believe in that,” he said.