Home Minister Amit Shah should resign in view of the widespread violence in several parts of northeast Delhi, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Wednesday as she led a peace march in the heart of the national capital.
Priyanka Gandhi was accompanied by several top leaders including K C Venugopal, Mukul Wasnik, Jitin Prasada, P L Punia, Randeep Surjewala, Rajeev Gowda, Shaktisinh Gohil, Ajay Singh Lallu, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Sushmita Dev, Krishna Tirath and Subhash Chopra.
At least 24 people have been killed and over 200 injured in communal violence which broke out in northeast Delhi three days ago. Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Yamuna Vihar, Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Shiv Vihar are among the areas mainly affected by the riots.
The march started from the party's main office on the 24, Akbar Road. However, the leaders were stopped by the police midway.
The Congress leaders and workers sat on the barricaded road and sang "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram", said to be Mahatma Gandhi's favorite bhajan, and raised slogans of unity.
Addressing Congress workers at the place where they were stopped by the police barricades, Priyanka Gandhi urged them to visit affected areas and spread the message of peace and brotherhood.
She also accused the government of having "destroyed" Delhi, where people from across the country come to seek employment.
"This is our city. People come here to find work. Today, fire and hatred is being spread in this city. We are a party that has helped in the freedom struggle and it is our duty to bring peace and maintain harmony. I urge every one of you to spread the message of love and brotherhood," she told the workers.
It is the duty of the government and the Home Minister to bring peace to the national capital, but they have failed, she said.
Priyanka Gandhi said, "we wanted to walk till the home minister's house and demand his resignation, but police stopped us".
"We want the government to take action and make every effort to ensure that peace prevails," the Congress general secretary said.
She said the Congress demands help for people who have suffered losses in the violence, who are being hospitalised and whose houses have been burnt down, and mutual harmony should be restored.
"This is my request to all of you that when you move out from here, visit those houses which are in pain and agony," Priyanka Gandhi told Congress workers.
She also recounted how Indira Gandhi had visited Chandni Chowk where she had invited just 10 families over a cup of tea which included Hindu, Muslim and Christian families.
"She (Indira Gandhi) initiated the process of dialogue among them and through such small steps, she restored love and harmony among them and the Congress party has always acted upon this principle," she said.
"Therefore, I once again urge upon you that our religion is non-violence and service to people. Today, the country needs you, you should visit every household with a message of love and peace, all of us are with you and together we will make such efforts," she said.
She also appealed to residents of Delhi to desist from indulging in violence as it will cause loss, pain and grief.
"Such politics is dirty politics. We have to come out of it; the country has to come out of it. Therefore, today we want that all of you who are present here and all the workers of the Congress all over the country should spread the message of non-violence espoused by Gandhi Ji and Nehru Ji," Priyanka Gandhi said.
Giving the message of unity, the Congress members held posters reading "Aaj Hamara Ek Hi Naara, Nahin Bate Samaj Hamara".