SC crisis: Sharad Pawar, Sitaram Yechury to lead ‘Save Constitution’ march on Republic Day
The Indian judiciary was thrown into a turmoil on Friday when four senior Supreme Court judges convened a press conference. The government is silent on the serious concerns expressed by the Justices. However, the Opposition has responded with a Republic Day march in the financial capital of India, to be led by senior leaders like Sharad Pawar (Nationalist Congress Party), Sitaram Yechury (CPI(M).
'Save the Constitutionmarch', spearheaded by NCP chief Sharad Pawar and independent MP Raju Shetty, will be attended by former JD(U) member Sharad Yadav, Patidar quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel, Congress MLA Jignesh Thakor, Dalit rights activist and MLA Jignesh Mevani, Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Tushar Gandhi, and journalists Nikhil Wagle and Kumar Ketkar, among others.
When contacted, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said Pawar will participate in the march. However, he added, "it does not necessarily mean that the party is going to be a part of the march." Senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani, quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel, and MP and farmers' leader Raju Shetti are also likely to attend the 'Samvidhan Bachao' march, one of its organisers said.
Rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, and Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, have also been invited to participate in the march, he said. Shetti, the Lok Sabha member from Maharashtra who fell out with the BJP last year, came up with the idea of holding the joint rally to express concerns about the Constitution.
"I was worried about BJP's constant attacks on the Constitution earlier and when the four judges went public, I decided to take some steps. I then decided to hold a march in Mumbai to save the Constitution and invite several leaders to it," Shetti said. He said he called on several social and political leaders and proposed the march from the Babasaheb Ambedkar's statue at Mantralaya to the Gateway of India.
"We will sit at the Gateway of India for the whole day and observe silence as a mark of protest against the attacks on our Constitution," Shetti said.
Hardik Patel also said on his twitter handle that he would participate in the march on the Republic Day. "I will be a part of #SaveConstitution rally in #Mumbai on 26Jan #Republic day. The country faces a serious threat to democracy and is inching towards #Fascism and we will not allow that to happen.... let's stand together and save our #Democracy and #Constitution," he tweeted.