Yashwant Sinha flags off Gateway to Rajghat march against CAA


“Some people think many of the members were elected to Parliament due to EVMs or malfunctioning of EVMs,” Shatrughan Sinha said

Mumbai: Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha leads a multi-state yatra (march) which begins from today seeking repeal of the Citizenship Amendment act and a judicial inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge into “state-sponsored violence” like the one in Delhi’s JNU.

Speaking to media, Sinha said the ‘Gandhi Shanti Yatra’ will also demand from the government to declare in Parliament that the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) will not be implemented.

The Gandhi Shanti Yatra will culminate at Raj Ghat in Delhi on January 30 — the day when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated – will pass through Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana, covering a distance of over 3,000 km.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar flags off the yatra from the Gateway of India in south Mumbai, Sinha said, adding many organizations, including those representing farmers, will take part in the march.

Sinha was accompanied by former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan, ex-MP Shatrughan Sinha and Congress leader from Vidarbha Ashish Deshmukh.

Sinha, a former BJP member who held finance and external affairs portfolios in the Vajpayee cabinet, said the Rashtra Manch, the outfit he leads, named the yatra after Gandhi as peace has allegedly been disturbed across India.

“Everything is disturbed. Education (sector) is disturbed, the economy is disturbed. And hence, we are taking out the yatra so that peace is restored in the country,” he said to media.

Sinha said the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by Parliament last month, and fear of NRC have disturbed peace.

“Hence, we all are demanding the government declare in Parliament that it will not implement NRC in India, that it will repeal CAA.

“Secondly, there should be a judicial inquiry by a sitting top Court judge into the state-sponsored violence, the latest being the JNU violence, and the perpetrators are punished at the earliest,” he said.

Referring to the JNU incident, Sinha said it has become a “new normal” in the criminal justice system of India to treat victims as accused.

Sinha’s statement came a day after the registration of a case in the JNU violence issue against the varsity’s students union president Aishe Ghosh, who was injured in the vicious attack by a masked crowd on Sunday night.

Prithviraj Chavan said the aim of the yatra is to see that the “black law” of the CAA is revoked immediately.

Chavan said the BJP-led government at the Centre is “threatening” to implement the CAA despite protests and allegedly people will be identified and sent to detention centers.

“You will send people who you think are intruders to detention camps. Where are we heading? Are we creating detention centres on the line of concentration centres which were there in (Nazi) Germany?” Chavan asked.

Without naming anyone, Congress leader and former BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha alleged several people believe that many of the MPs who got elected to the Lok Sabha “due to EVMs” were “pressurised” to vote for passage of the CAA in Parliament or else they will not ticket next time.

“Some people think many of the members were elected to Parliament due to EVMs or malfunctioning of EVMs,” Shatrughan Sinha said.

“Many people think these people were pressurized saying if they will not get a ticket (in next elections) if they did not vote in favor (of the CAA).

“So, it seems that the passage of the CAA was the result of the pressure tactic and force. We will try to see it is revoked in the Parliament itself,” the actor-politician added.

Shatrugan Sinha described NRC as the “mother of anarchy” and noted the CAA, NRC and NPR were not different from each other.

Ashish Deshmukh alleged whatever happened inside the JNU was because the university administration has people who follow the ideology of the RSS.

Deshmukh said JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, too, is considered to be following RSS ideology.

Deshmukh alleged the previous Devendra Fadnavis government, too, had appointed people linked to the RSS in universities in Maharashtra.

“We sense something of that sort may happen in universities in Maharashtra also. So I demand Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Ji remove those connected to the RSS from universities in Maharashtra so that there is no condemnable act like JNU happening in universities here,” he added.

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