The Congress on Monday celebrated its 136th Foundation Day at its headquarters in Delhi even though party president Sonia Gandhi and former party chief Rahul Gandhi gave the event a miss. Senior leader A K Antony unfurled the flag at the AICC headquarters in the presence of senior leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
While Sonia Gandhi has been avoiding attending public events due to health issues, Rahul Gandhi left on a short personal visit abroad only on Sunday.
On the occassion, the All India Congress Committee urged members to organise ‘Tiranga Yatra’ and other “innovative campaigns” while following all Covid-19 protocols.
Taking to Twitter, Rahul Gandhi marked the occasion by highlighting his party’s pledge for “truth and equality” and said that “Congress has been committed from the beginning to raise the voice of the nation”.
देश हित की आवाज़ उठाने के लिए कांग्रेस शुरू से प्रतिबद्ध रही है।
आज कांग्रेस के स्थापना दिवस पर, हम सच्चाई और समानता के अपने इस संकल्प को दोहराते हैं।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 28, 2020
Speaking to reporters, Priyanka Gandhi said the government should “listen to the voice of farmers and take back the laws” and should not paint the agitation as a “political conspiracy”. “It is a sin to use the kind of words they are using for farmers. Government is answerable to farmers. Government should listen to them and take back the laws,” Priyanka said.
Rahul Gandhi’s absence on the occasion come under attack from the BJP. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan questioned Gandhi’s disappearance on an important occasion for the party.
कांग्रेस इधर अपना 136 वां स्थापना दिवस मना रही है और राहुल जी ‘9 2 11’ हो गये!!
— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) December 28, 2020
Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal accused the BJP of “indulging in low-level politics” and hitting out at Rahul Gandhi “because they want to target only one leader”. “Rahul Gandhi has gone to see his grandmother. Is it wrong? Everybody has the right to undertake personal visits,” he said.
(With inputs from ANI)