A large group of Congress activists today clashed with the police in the heart of Delhi shortly after a fiery speech by senior party leader Digvijaya Singh, who repeatedly urged Rahul Gandhi to “take charge” and lead the party in a campaign against the Narendra Modi government.
“I urge Rahulji to take control. We are all behind Rahulji. We will back him on all fronts, he should lead us,” Mr. Singh said, addressing the protesters at Jantar Mantar.
“If so many young people are on WhatsApp, then why is Modi still prevailing? Where the Congress failed is in communicating its policies to the people. I urge you young people to get on WhatsApp and spread the world. Use technology to silence the BJP. These people keep lying and people believe them. Let’s stop them,” he added.
Sometime later, police in riot gear used batons on youth Congress activists who broke barricades on a road near Parliament House and other top government buildings in the capital’s most protected area.
Some workers were seen picking up injured activists, while others challenged the police to arrest them.
Some 3,000 Youth Congress workers had gathered for a rally to protest against what they call “120 false promises of the Modi government.” Many of them said they believed Rahul Gandhi would also join them. The 44-year-old Congress leader, however, stayed away.
The trouble started when in the middle of the rally, someone reportedly announced a “march to Parliament.” In clashes that followed protesters allegedly threw stones at the police, who chased them with lathis or batons.