Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha on Thursday began a 3,000-km “Gandhi Shanti Yatra” from the Gateway of India in Mumbai. The march will cross five states and end at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Rajghat in Delhi on January 30, his death anniversary.
Flagging off the journey, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar accused the Centre of using “dictatorial” policies, which he said need to be answered through the non-violent methods adopted by Mahatma Gandhi, PTI reported. “What happened in JNU [Jawaharlal Nehru University] is being opposed across the country,” Pawar said.
The Nationalist Congress Party leader said there was an atmosphere of fear in India because of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. “People are disappointed with the government due to the situation that has arisen in the country,” he added. “Hence, they have taken to streets in big number. They need to be shown the right path, which is Gandhi ji’s way of non-violence, which can save the Constitution.”
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was also present at the event.
Announcing the yatra on Wednesday, Sinha had said its purposes were to seek the repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act, demand a judicial inquiry into instances of “state-sponsored violence” such as the attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University students, and ask the government for an assurance in Parliament that there will be no nationwide National Register of Citizens.