Posted on January 9, 2020, 1:13 PM IST
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar today morning flagged off a 21-day-long Gandhi Peace Yatra, a 3,000-km march from Mumbai to New Delhi, led by former Union minister Yashwant Sinha to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and to protest against “state’s violence”.
The event began at the Gateway of India in South Mumbai by unravelling a green-coloured flag. The march will end at Rajghat in Delhi on January 30. It will travel through six states, including those ruled by the BJP like Gujarat, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
“The steps taken by the Indian government are threatening the unity of India. Many communities including minorities do not have the capability to prove where they come from, or how long they have stayed in India. Even though they are part of free India, they will be forcefully put in detention camps. They will never see a worse fate than that, and all this is because of the decisions of the Indian government. We have to build unity and strength in the country,” said Pawar.
The NCP chief added, “The government has harmed that unity with this new law, and misused the power they have. What happened in JNU has hurt sentiments of many Indians. Many parts of society are upset, but they need direction. Only Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology can show them the way. It is the only thing that will help us save the Constitution.”
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, Yashwant Sinha said, “This is to protest the CAA, NRC and the NPR brought by the government, and the violence it has unleashed on many sections of the society. Many state governments are also participating in this violence. The message we are giving through this march is that we are united and will always stand united.”
Also present at the Gateway of India were former chief minister of Mahrashtra Prithviraj Chavan, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi president Prakash Ambedkar, and All India Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament, Nadimal Haque, who was representing party chief Mamata Banerjee, and Maharashtra minister Nawab Mallik.