Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge decided to skip the 77th Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort, New Delhi, on Tuesday. He, however, hoisted the Tricolour at AICC headquarters in New Delhi.
Social media users took the opportunity to criticise Kharge missing the Independence Day celebrations. A photo of Kharge’s vacant seat with his name tag at a section of the Red Fort went was circulated on X (formerly Twitter). This prompted some users to liken it to his vacant seat at the Lok Sabha, an apparent reference to his and the opposition INDIA bloc’s walkout from the Lok Sabha proceedings in the Monsoon Session.
Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said that Kharge was "already busy in Independence day programmes. "Many people including ministers are not able to reach Red Fort. He will be coming here (AICC headquarters) to hoist the flag," Shukla said.
Kharge's speech at AICC
In his speech at the AICC headquarters, Kharge said every prime minister has contributed to the progress of the nation. “Today some people try to say that India has seen progress only in the past few years,” he said, without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In a video message ahead of the Independence Day celebrations, Kharge said, "Along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, all prime ministers thought about the country and accordingly took steps towards India’s development. It is with pain that I say that today democracy, Constitution and autonomous bodies are under serious threat. New tools are being used to stifle the voice of the opposition. Not only are there CBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax raids, the Election Commission is also being weakened. Opposition MPs are being muzzled, suspended, mics are being muted, speeches are being expunged..."