Imphal: “Democracy in danger, voice of dissent not respected,” former Manipur chief minister and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh said, as the Congress party continued to protest for the second day today against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Lok Sabha.
Joining the nationwide protest, Manipur Pradesh Congress President (MPCC) staged a protest in front of the Manipur Legislative Assembly complex in Imphal today wearing black clothes and masks.
After a brief protest in front of the Assembly complex under the banner “Democracy in danger”, the protesters marched a protest rally on the streets. However, the police prevented them from further proceeding near THAU Ground.
The MPCC staged the protest against what it called ‘undemocratic disqualification’ of AICC leader Rahul Gandhi and to save democracy in the country, said Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader O Ibobi Singh who took part in the protest.
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Talking to the reporters, Ibobi hit out at the BJP-led governments both at the Centre and the state, saying that democracy is in danger, voices of dissent not respected.
“The BJP-led government has been suppressing the voices of dissent using various independent and autonomous organs of the democracy”, he said.
“Those who spoke against the policy and programme of the government were intimidated using force”, he added.
In the Parliament, too, opposition members including Congress leaders were prevented from speaking in the house, Ibobi also said.
At the same time, the former three time chief minister of the state said that democracy will not work without the voice of dissent or criticism.
“During the Congress government rule, citizens were given free hands to express their opinions, suggestions and objections against the government and its policies and programmes,” Ibobi claimed.
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Even criticisms were always respected, he added.
The Congress party has been protesting against the disqualification of AICC leader Rahul Gandhi following his conviction by a local court in Gujarat.
On Sunday, the MPCC had staged Satyagraha in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue across the nation.
The CLP leader said that the protest was being staged as per programmes of the AICC and will continue to save the democracy in the country.
Apart from O Ibobi Singh, MPCC president K Meghachandra, CWC member Gaikhangam, MLAs K Ranjit, Th Lokeshwar and Surajkumar Okram also took part in today’s protest.
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