Congress activists Protest attempts to malign the party and India government

Juned Qazi, Atma Singh, Zinda Singh, Karamjit Dhaliwal and their supporters hold a protest demonstration near the Consulate General of India on the sidewalk of the busy Fifth Avenue in New York City September 2

NEW YORK (TIP): Peeved by attempts by a group of persons to malign the Congress party and the UPA government of India, a group of Congress activists from New Jersey and New York staged a colorful demonstration near the office of the Indian Consulate General in New York. The demonstrators held banners and posters in support of the Indian Government led by Prime Minister and leaders of India’s Congress Party Sonia Gandhi and Digvijay Singh. Displaying banner of Congress party and its secular messages they chanted slogans in favor of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The demonstration was led by Juned Qazi and supported by Atma Singh, Zinda Singh and Karanjit Dhaliwal.. Their fellow protestors held the Indian Tricolor. The demonstrators began assembling at the sidewalk around Noon when New Yorkers were heading towards the Central Part for a lazy Sunday. Many stopped to take snaps of the activists holding placards. Not far from the pro-Congress protestors stood a group of anti-Congress demonstrators who were shouting slogans against the Congress and the Government of India, which they claimed, was supporting radical Islam and promoting Jihad in India. The anti-Congress protesters were led by pro-Hindu activists, who blamed India’s ruling Congress party for supporting Islamist infiltrators in North East India.

In response, Congress supporters blamed Kartaria for spoiling the name of India in USA. “These people have no right to protest against Congress because they divide the country on religious lines”, said Atma Singh. “India’s leadership is secular and it is keeping the country united.” Challenging the contention of anti- Congress demonstrations they put the blame of violence in India on pro-Hindu parties and radical Hindu organizations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal , Rashtriya Svayamsewak Sangh and others. Chanting slogans like “VHP and RSS, Murderers of peace and Gandhi”, the young activists said that these parties were dividing the country on religious grounds.

Qazi, a well known supporter of Digvijay Singh, the former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and a senior Congress leader, shouted slogans in favor of secular and pluralistic India. He claimed that Congress party led by Sonia Gandhi was the true secular party that has brought prosperity in India. “Congress symbolized peace and progress and helped to keep India united. On the other hand a number of opposition parties led by pro-Hindu groups such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, were engaged in dividing the nation and destroying it.” Juned Qazi said that Congress was a true secular party in India which ruled for most of the 66 years. It led the country towards prosperity and progress. “It is the duty of every Indian to support Congress which represents secular forces and unity in India”, said Qazi.

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Raising slogans about India’s secular and pluralistic government, Zinda Singh, who has been closely associated with Congress party in India for almost 30 years , said that India’s leadership was comprised of persons belonging to all major religions. “The President of India belonged to Hindu community while the Vice President is a Muslim and the Prime Minister belonged to the Sikh community.” According to Qazi, the demonstration gathered strength with the help of enthusiastic support and slogan shouting of fellow activists owing allegiance to Congress, such as, Pankaj Mathur, Rumpi Bindra, Paul Singh, Rahul Dev Singh, Sonia Keer Sodhi, Shaheen Khan, Atul Mathur, Taiyab Poonawala, Jasmitter Singh and Saeed Patel.

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