Wearing black clothes, Congress MPs, led by party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, staged a protest in the Parliament House complex on Friday as they marched towards the Rashtrapati Bhawan as part of their nationwide stir against price rise, the GST hike on essential items and unemployment.
The protesting MPs of the opposition party raised slogans against the government demanding that the GST hike on essential items be withdrawn, with Sonia Gandhi standing with the women MPs of the party, holding a banner, outside gate number 1 of Parliament.
They were, however, stopped by the Delhi Police and not allowed to proceed towards the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Sonia Gandhi did not take part in the march. The other MPs were detained by police at Vijay Chowk.
"Again today, Congress MPs denied democratic right to protest against price rise, unemployment and GST. Bundled into police vans at Vijay Chowk. It's clear, only those who are afraid try to instill fear!" party leader Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.
The Congress leaders, including former party chief Rahul Gandhi, wore black shirts and black bands on their arms as a mark of protest.
Lok Sabha proceedings adjourned
Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned till noon on Friday following strong Opposition protests, particularly by Congress members who came to the House dressed in black to voice their protests against the Enforcement Directorate on their leaders.
As soon as the house met at 11 am, Speaker Om Birla made obituary references to former MP Bhim Prasad Dahal. He also marked the 77th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and those who lost their lives in the two Japanese cities.
After that, the Speaker started the business of the House by taking questions related to different ministries. At this point, Congress members came to the well of the house to stage their protests.
Congress MPs were wearing black clothes. Rahul Gandhi was in black shirt and trousers and party chief Sonia Gandhi was in black too.
NCP and DMK members supported the Congress by standing in their respective seats.
With the sloganeering getting louder, Birla appealed to the Opposition members to go back to their seats saying their behaviour is not proper as the whole country is watching them.
Opposition members ignored his pleas and Birla soon declared the house adjourned till noon.
What is the protest all about?
Leaders and workers of the Congress assembled at the party headquarters here to participate in the nationwide protest against price rise, the hike in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on essential items and unemployment.
The party is also protesting against the alleged misuse of probe agencies by the government to target its leaders.
Top Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, reached the party headquarters in the morning.
The Delhi Police has denied permission to the opposition party to stage a protest in the national capital as prohibitory orders are in place in New Delhi district.
The Congress workers also seek to gherao Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence as part of the protest.
The protesting Congress MPs tied lemons, chilies and empty packets of dairy products around their neck as a mark of protest.
Meanwhile, security at the Congress headquarters has been beefed up as the party workers, led by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, are slated to gherao the prime minister's residence.
A large number of police personnel has been deployed at 24, Akbar road amid heavy rains in Central Delhi.
The entire lane leading up to the Congress office has been heavily barricaded and the media has also been barred to enter the party office.
(With PTI Inputs)