Sharad Pawar to lead anti-CAA protest on January 24

Mumbai (IANS) For the first time, Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar will take to the streets here on January 24 to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act, the organisers said here on Friday.

Pawar, 79, will lead the rally organized by the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) at the Kamgar Stadium in Dadar along with top leaders of other parties in the ruling alliance.

The decision was taken at a meeting hosted by Mumbai Congress President Eknath Gaikwad in which representatives of the NCP, the CPI, the CPI-M, the Janata Dal-S, the RSD, the BRSP, the Lok Bharti, representatives of tribal, labour and students unions, said the convenors Kapil Patil and Kiran Pawaskar, legislators of the Lok Bharti and the NCP, respectively.

"The new laws like CAA, NRC, NPR will adversely affect people irrespective of their religion, and also hit tribals, nomadic communities, Lingayats, etc, who comprise more than one-third of the country's population," said Patil.

Pawaskar said that the effects of these oppressive laws would be more severe than the demonetisation, and will not be confined to any religious group, but the people of the country as a whole.

It is imperative to protect Constitutional values and the people of the country must unitedly fight against these tactics of the Centre for the interest of the nation, he said.

The January 24 protest would be conducted using the banner of 'We The People Of India' on the national flag and not under the flag of any particular political party or group, as suggested by Rashtra Seva Dal President Ganesh Devi.

The MVA leaders present at Friday's meeting included Patil, Pawaskar, Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant, Samajwadi Party's Miraj Siddiqui, CPI's Prakash Shetty, Rashtra Seva Dal Trustee and Anjuman-e-Islam chairman Zahir Kazi, BRSP's Suresh Mane, CPI-M's Ashok Dhavale, JD-S's Malvindshingh Kuharana, Citizens Against CAA/NRC/NPR leader Farooq Shaikh, Scheduled Tribes leader Kailas Gaud and Chhatra Bharati's Sachin Bansod.

The development came a day after Pawar and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan, Shatrughan Sinha and others flagged off the 3000-km, 21-day long 'Gandhi Shanti Yatra' launched by former BJP leader and ex-Union Finance Minister, 82-year old Yashwant Sinha, from Mumbai to New Delhi.

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