Mumbai: On the 76th anniversary of the historic Quit India Movement, the Maharashtra Congress on Thursday said the “the time has come to say ‘Chale Jao’ (go away) to the Bharatiya Janata Party government” at the Centre.
The main opposition party gave a call to Congress activists to “prepare” for a battle against those who sided with the British to oppose the freedom struggle and are now attempting to bring in dictatorship in the country.
Addressing a large meeting of Congress workers at the August Kranti Maidan in south Mumbai, Maharashtra party President Ashok Chavan said it was from this venue and this day (August 9) that Mahatma Gandhi had issued the clarion call of Quit India in 1942.
“People from all walks of life, including caste, creed and religion, forget their difference and wholeheartedly participated in the Quit India Movement. It laid the foundations for national values like secularism and democracy,” Chavan said.
Today, he said, those who had sided with the British to oppose the Independence movement, are now ruling the country and attempting to erase those very values, and this needs to be challenged.
Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said the time has come to issue a ‘Chale Jao’ call to the present BJP regime to free the country from growing atrocities against its own people.
“We have to unitedly fight against the BJP to re-establish the atmosphere of peace, progress, social justice and communal harmony,” Nirupam said.
Both Chavan and Nirupam cited how over 45,000 farmers have committed suicide in the state so far, there are ongoing agitations by farmers and different communities for their rights, a huge rise in violence against women, the minorities and the oppressed sections of society.
“There are restrictions on what the people should eat, what they should wear, innocents are being lynched by violent mobs and injustice is being meted out to Dalits and minority communities all over,” Chavan said.
Nirupam said the freedom of media, which is one of the pillars of democracy, is being curbed, those speaking out against the government and its scandals are dubbed as ‘anti-nationals’.
“There is a growing sense of discontent among the people everywhere. They do not feel secure anymore under the government. There cannot be peace and harmony in the country till the BJP government is overthrown in 2019,” said Nirupam.
Earlier, Chavan and Nirupam led the Congress and Seva Dal activists to pay homage at the August Kranti Memorial with top leaders joining them.
The gathering also paid respects to the slain Indian Army Major K.P. Rane, whose last rites were performed in Mira Road, Thane, earlier this afternoon.
Later, they took out a large procession from August Kranti Maidan to the famous Mani Bhavan in Girgaum, where Mahatma Gandhi lived and worked for several years.