The Congress has often been accused of armchair politics, and not hitting the streets on key issues. But when it comes to the Gandhis, it is not easy to hold them back. Delhi and other parts of the country witnessed Congress leaders hitting the streets and taking on the police, as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) quizzed party president Sonia Gandhi.
Two pictures stood out.
One, of the Indian Youth Congress president NV Srinivas who was dragged by the hair by Delhi police when he broke the barricade to protest the interrogation of Gandhi by ED. The Congress tactically linked this questioning with the government refusing to answer questions on people’s issues such as price rise and goods and services tax (GST) slab on new items because they were interested in diverting the issue.
Srinivas is known to be one of the few Congress streetfighters and the story goes that despite being offered Rajya Sabha membership, he refused, saying he preferred to strengthen the organisation.
His few detractors in the party, however, don’t buy this story.
#WATCH | Delhi Police personnel seen pulling the hair of National President of Indian Youth Congress, Srinivas BV, and manhandling him earlier during the party's protest. (Source: Congress) pic.twitter.com/ODyN1YjERG
— ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2022
Srinivas also is known for his work during the Delta wave of Covid. The image of Srinivas being dragged has gone viral and the Congress hopes to use it as a showcase of how the government can be brutal when questioned.
A little away, the road outside parliament became a battleground when MPs who could not get an appointment with the President sat on dharna. Section 144 is in place in and around Parliament, especially during the session, and the Delhi police faced a nightmare as Congress MPs led by Rahul Gandhi sat on dharna. Finally, buses were brought in and Rahul Gandhi was detained, but not before he put up a resistance. Rahul then went on to tweet his pictures and those of the armed police and paramilitary forces to call the Modi government “Hitler regime”.
जंजीर बढ़ा कर साध मुझे,हाँ, हाँ दुर्योधन! बाँध मुझे।बाँधने मुझे तो आया है,जंजीर बड़ी क्या लाया है?
इतिहास दोहरा रहा है…#SatyagrahaWithSoniaGandhi pic.twitter.com/wroc7cLtk9
— Congress (@INCIndia) July 26, 2022
When Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi were stopped by the cops while on their way to Hathras to meet the victim’s family, the pictures of the siblings being jostled and pushed and pulled by the cops were used by the Congress to project them as fighters.
In fact, posters of Uttar Pradesh in-charge Priyanka Vadra were put up across in the run-up to the UP polls to project her as a tigress. The party has a plan to do the same even now and, in fact, Rahul Gandhi tweeted while sitting at the police station that anyone who asked questions would be put in jails as the PM didn’t want to answer.
The scene was pretty much the same in other parts of the country, especially where it is fighting for space or facing elections.
"Opposition does not want the House to function smoothly; Does Congress feel that laws should be separate for the Gandhi family?" Union Minister Anurag Thakur on suspension of 19 MPs, Sonia Gandhi's grilling Watch #TheNationAt5 with @AnchorAnandN | #ParliamentSession #NationalH pic.twitter.com/duSDBnPEov
— News18 (@CNNnews18) July 26, 2022
In Karnataka, Punjab and Gujarat, the Congress carried out massive protests. The purpose is also to negate the tag of being a party that does politics from air-conditioned chambers.
But the focus of the protests being Sonia Gandhi, the streetfights have earned the tag of being just about the family. The posters carried by the protesters just added to this perception.
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