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The Congress responded saying some of its members did eat breakfast as the fast was from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm and a “symbolic” one.
BJP leader Harish Khurana tweeted an undated photograph of some Congress leaders seen digging into a sumptuous feast. He claimed the photograph is from today. Seen in the photo are, among others, Congress leaders Ajay Maken and Arvinder Singh Lovely.
“Wow, look at these Congress leaders. They’ve called people to fast at Rajghat, but they’re themselves sitting in a restaurant enjoying chhola bhatura. They’ve made a right fool of everyone,” tweeted Khurana.
वहाँ रे हमारे कांग्रिस के नेता,लोगों को राज घाट पर अनशन के लिए बुलाया है और ख़ुद एक रेस्तराँ में बैठ कर छोले भटूरे… https://t.co/004A9jE2pM
— Harish Khurana (@HarishKhuranna) 1523259993000
After the BJP leader tweeted the photo Lovely said the fast by the Congress leaders wasn’t an indefinite one, just a symbolic one.
“Photograph is of before 8 am, this is symbolic fast from 10.30 am to 4.30pm, it is not indefinite hunger strike. This is what is wrong with these(BJP) people. Instead of properly running the country, they concentrate on what we eat,” said Lovely to ANI.
The BJP was also critical of Congress president Rahul Gandhi arriving at the venue of the fast, Rajghat, during the lunch hour, and dubbed the event “#RahulOnAFarce”
“Rahul ji, sit on a fast once you’re done with lunch…I would love to know which leader says he will embark on a fast and does not reach the venue till 12:45! True to his style, Rahul Gandhi obviously woke up late. #RahulOnAFarce,” tweeted the BJP’s Amit Malviya.
राहुल जी अगर लंच हो गया हो तो, उपवास पर बैठ जाओ… I would love to know which leader says he will embark on a fast… https://t.co/iSWgaa9iQV
— Amit Malviya (@malviyamit) 1523258960000
Congress leaders said they are fasting today to protest the government’s alleged failure to discuss key issues – like rising atrocities against Dalits, the dilution of the SC/ST Act, the CBSE exam paper leaks, the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam, Cauvery issue and Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh – in Parliament.
The protest was hit by controversy early in the day, after reports – refuted by the Congress – that embattled leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar were on Monday allegedly asked to leave the protest venue.
However, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Maken clarified that while nobody had been asked to leave, the enclosure at the venue was only meant for certain office-bearers of the party.
Tytler and Kumar are among the accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases.
The BJP’s NDA partner, the Shiromani Akali Dal, had harsh words about their presence at Rajghat,
“What we are seeing in Rajghat is no fast, it is only a FARCE! Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, who butchered thousands of Sikhs in 1984 attending a farcical “fast” for unity and harmony! What a joke!,” said the Akali Dal’s Harsimran Kaur Badal.
What we are seeing in Rajghat is no fast, it is only a FARCE! Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, who butchered thous… https://t.co/9zYTnHv0YO
— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) 1523259154000
Tytler has been accused of instigating and participating in the riots following the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. However, no charge has been proved so far.
Kumar is accused in two cases involving the killings of three Sikhs during the riots.