New Delhi, April 9:  The Congress’ day-long hunger-strike led by party president Rahul Gandhi stirred a controversy on Monday after 1984-riot accused leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar were seen leaving Rajghat, minutes after their arrival. The duo were reportedly asked to leave following their alleged links to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Ajay Maken, however, clarified that the two leaders were not asked to leave.

Maken said the stage and its enclosure at the venue were reserved for some Congress office-bearers. “We are praying for togetherness and for brotherhood, for all religions and castes in the country so that we can send out a message that all Indian are one and there is no division on caste basis,” IANS quoted Maken as saying.

Speaking at Rajghat, Rahul Gandhi said that the Congress will always stand against the BJP’s “divisive politics”. “PM Narendra Modi is an anti-Dalit person, we stand against the government’s ideology,” he said, adding that the Congress will defeat BJP in Lok Sabha Elections 2019.

BJP Calls The Fast  a ‘FARCE’

Taking potshots at the Opposition, Union Minister and SAD leader Harsimrat Badal tweeted, “What we are seeing in Rajghat is no fast, it is only a FARCE! Jagdisha Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, who butchered thousands of Sikhs in 1984 attending a farcical “fast” for unity and harmony! What a joke!”

Addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar being escorted out of Rajghat showed ‘acceptance of guilt’. He also called the fast a ‘farce’ and termed Congress ‘Danga-Master’.

BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya mocked the Congress presidentover reaching a protest venue late. Malviya posted, ” I would love to know which leader says he will embark on a fast and does not reach the venue till 12:45! True to his style, Rahul Gandhi obviously woke up late.”

Feast Before Fast

The Bharatiya Janata Party also claimed that Congress leaders were earlier today seen eating at restaurant named ‘Chaina Ram Halwai’ in national capital before sitting on a protest. Delhi BJP leader Harish Khurana also showed a picture in which senior Congress leaders like Ajay Maken,  Arvinder Singh Lovely were seen eating chole-bhature.

Reacting over the allegations, Congress leader Lovely said,”Photograph is of before 8 AM, this is symbolic fast from 10.30 AM to 4.30 PM. It is not indefinite hunger strike. This is what is wrong with these (BJP) people, instead of properly running the country, they concentrate on what we eat.”

The Congress party had its leaders were fasting to “promote communal harmony” and protesting against the Central government’s anti-Dalit policy.

About the Congress’ day-long protest: 

Congress president Rahul Gandhi led a protest at the Rajghat as part of a nationwide ‘fast’ of the party to protest against the Narendra Modi government and non-functioning of Parliament. The Opposition had said that its leaders, workers hold a day-long fast at all state and district headquarters to protest against the BJP government and its failure to hold discussion in Parliament on key issues such as the CBSE paper leak, the multi-crore PNB scam, Cauvery issue and Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh. The protest aimed at promoting communal harmony and peace across the country.