Mumbai: Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, who was supposed to lead a ‘silent’ morcha of his party workers at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) here, the venue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting, on Saturday claimed that he has been placed under “house arrest” by police.
“The area outside my house is under heavy police bandobast and I am being prevented from stepping out,” Nirupam said, alleging that “in the present democratic set up Opposition leaders are being virtually kept under house-arrest.”
However, Mumbai Police denied the claims made by Nirupam and said the force deployed outside his residence was only part of the security arrangements made across the city in view of the PM’s visit.
Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe said, “We have deployed policemen across the city especially on the route of PM’s convoy to maintain law and order as well as to avoid any untoward incident during his visit.”
Nirupam also said that the Congress morcha will take place as per schedule and “we have time till this afternoon to decide on our strategy.”
“We have a lot of questions for the PM. He should answer to graft allegations made by our Vice President Rahul gandhi instead of mocking him. Modi should also answer when the people will get back their right to deposit and withdraw their own hard earned money from banks. Its more than a month. Since demonetisation citizens are still suffering due to cash crunch,” he said.
AICC General Secretary in-charge of Maharashtra, Mohan Prakash also condemned the decision of Mumbai Police to curb democratic rights of political rivals which he charged was done at the behest of the government.
“Earlier government put restrictions on citizens’ rights to access their money and now there are restrictions on freedom of expression as well,” he said.
He said the Congress workers were to display only placards in the morcha and were not to hold any protests.
“The government does not want to see people’s hardships. If they don’t want to see the placards people will show them the mirror in which they will see their failures,” he added.
The Mumbai unit of Congress is scheduled to hold a ‘silent’ morcha near the venue where Modi will address a public function in the afternoon to highlight demonetisation troubles and a host of other issues.