As reported by Republic TV, Congress President Rahul Gandhi in a letter to Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) chairman Mr. Sanjeeva Reddy requested the INTUC to stage protest citing the “anti-people policies of the government”. He mentioned a survey by the All Manufactures Organisation stating that job losses have been caused by “demonetisation, flawed rollout of GST and severe fund crunch”.
The letter is dated December 20, 2018, and urges the Indian National Trade Union Congress to “provide a platform to unions affiliated with INTUC to amplify the voice of millions suffering anti-government policies of the government”.
Subsequently, a Bharat Bandh had been called by 10 Central trade unions and supported by some student organisations including the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU), Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and the Federation of Central University Teachers Associations (FEDCUTA). In West Bengal, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is also protesting, and clashes with Trinamool Congress workers have been reported. The strike is being termed a “labour strike”, however, no specific demands have been made. Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s letter to INTUC seems to be behind this 48-hour Bharat Bandh and is suggestive of Rahul Gandhi’s urge to reap political advantage that he expects by orchestrating this disruptive activity.
In the northeast, a Bandh is also called to register a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill to be discussed in the Lok Sabha. It is supported by former Congress Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya and other political parties and pressure groups.
With the nation coming to a standstill in many parts of the country, Rahul Gandhi finds sadistic pleasure in bringing economic activity to halt. Violence erupting in various states to enforce the Bandh shows that a common man is virtually given no choice when a politically motivated strike is imposed.
The Congress has had an involvement in such strikes earlier in the last few years in opposition. Alleging dilution of the SC/ST Act, the Congress had staged a Bharat Bandh where instances of violence and rioting took many lives and damaged public property. The Supreme Court Verdict on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Atrocities) Act was propelled into rumours on social media that the government intends to take away the rights of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The Bhima Koregaon violence that took place in Maharashtra in the first week of 2018 also had an alleged Congress involvement. The Maoist leaders accused of inciting the riots arrested by Pune Police were reported to have a link with Congress Leader Digvijaya Singh. Also, the Congress party vociferously objected to these arrests.
Rahul Gandhi and Congress wish to take political advantage of anything they possibly can regardless of ideology and even the national security. The main goal has been to create an atmosphere of panic and dismay and then harvest votes from the same. Such a quality is something which has kept the Congress relevant to this day despite major scams, lies, and inefficiencies.
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