Ahmedabad: The Gujarat Congress will organise more than 300 ‘sammelans’ (conventions) across the state this month to highlight what it calls the failure of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, and has invited party leader Rahul Gandhi to be a part of the same, a senior party functionary said on Saturday.
Talking to reporters, state Congress president Jagdish Thakor said the party plans to organise sammelans in 251 talukas, 33 districts and eight metro centres in two phases, between April 6-12 and April 15-25.
Gandhi has been invited to Gujarat between April 20 and April 25 to lend his support, he said.
Gandhi was last in Surat on March 23 to appear before a court, which convicted him in a criminal defamation case and sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment, eventually leading to his disqualification as a member of the Lok Sabha..
The protests will be carried out irrespective of whether the police grant permission, Thakor said.
Denying permission for peaceful protests has become a norm in the state, he said. The government fears mass mobilisation over its failure to address issues affecting different sections of society if permission is granted for protests, he said.
“In a democracy, it is mandatory for the authorities to grant permission to protest when applied for. …Congress has decided to apply for permission at local police stations, and carry on with its programme irrespective of whether the permission is granted or not,” Thakor said.
The protests will be organised between April 6 and April 12 to highlight the state government’s failure to maintain law and order and address issues affecting different sections of society across 251 taluka centres, he said.
In the second phase, the protests will be held at the district and metro centres between April 15 and April 25, he said.
Targeting the ruling party, Thakor said that the BJP uses anti-social elements who do not care about law and order.
The police do not provide permission for constitutional programmes because the government fears mass mobilisation against it, he added.