Congress rallies to save Sonia from corruption charges

Congress leaders, including the top brass – Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi  – courted arrest in a rally held near Parliament House as the party faced charges of corruption in the VVIP helicopter scandal inside Parliament.

The entire leadership of the Congress walked inside the Parliament Street Police station in New Delhi to make a symbolic surrender before the police with the stated purpose of ''saving the democracy'' in India.

For the Congress, it was a symbolic defiance of the Narendra Modi administration to break a prohibitory section 144 order that is generally enforced whenever the Parliament is in session.

''We will march to Parliament till we drop dead,'', senior Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury asserted.
 
The whole process of the symbolic arrest before the police was over in about 10 minutes and Sonia, Rahul and Manmohan proceeded under the protective cover of the Special Protection Group (SPG) to their respective vehicles and to attend to other scheduled programmes.

The police maintained restraint, nobody suffered any injury. A few Congressmen, however, got their clothes torn or dirtied during the ordeal that they themselves were responsible for as they tried with all the force at their command to make their presence felt before Sonia and Rahul, but were pushed away by the SPG and the security personnel.

On the way from Jantar Mantar to the Parliament street police station, Sonia Gandhi protectively placed her arms around Manmohan Singh, who had never been a part of agitation politics.

The rally was meant to send out a clear message that if Congress's first family was targeted then the entire Congress would rally around it.

The 'Loktantra Bachao' banners seen at Jantar Mantar had pictures of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Robert Vadra and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as well.

None of the speakers spoke on the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam directly, but a aggressive Sonia Gandhi was seen often referring to her being targeted in Choppergate and prior to that in the National Herald case.

She thundered, ''Hume darane ki, badnam karne ki koshish ki ja rahi hai...hm jhukne wale nahi, hume jiwan ne sangharsh karna sikhaya hai...unhe maloon nahi Congress jan kis mitti ke bane hai (Attempts are being made to scare us, demean us...we will not bow down, we have been taught to struggle in life...they don't know what Congress people are made of). ''

She charged that the Modi government was dancing to the tunes of RSS in Nagpur, and that in the two years (in power) it has destroyed everything that Congress had built over the years.

"Sab pareshan, sab chehre udas (all are hassled, all faces look saddened)," she said. She then warned that nobody ''should make the mistake of underestimating Congress''. She appealed to Congress workers to go to the remote corners of the country and expose the Modi government.