Etawah: Ex-BJP leader and former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha during the 21-day long Mumbai-Delhi 'Gandhi Shanti Yatra' that reached Etawah in Uttar Pradesh on Jan 26, 2020. . Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Jan 26 : In a veiled reference to the new citizenship law (CAA), former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha said in Saifai (UP) on Sunday, Mahatma Gandhi, who believed in communal peace, should not be "killed again" by creating divisions on the basis of religion.

"We will not allow killing of the 'Father of Nation' again due to the actions of a few selfish politicians at the Centre," said Sinha while addressing a large gathering on the occasion of the 71st Republic Day after the 'Gandhi Shanti Yatra', led by him, reached this Etawah village from Agra.

Sinha, once an integral part of the BJP think-tank, said, "We have come out with the message of peace in the form of 'Gandhi Shanti Yatra'." The yatra, launched at the Gateway of India in Mumbai on January 9, is aimed at opposing the CAA that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to minorities coming as refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, but leaves out Muslims.

Sinha also took part in the R-Day celebrations. The key highlight of the event was hoisting of the Tricolour on a 155-foot pole.

Samajwadi Party president and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and SP General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav were also present on the occasion. Sinha was presented with a shawl as the welcome gesture.

SP National Secretary Rajendra Chaudhary, Dharmendra Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav, Dilip Yadav (MLA), Raj Kumar Raju and Anurag were present at the event, SP spokesperson I.P. Singh told IANS over phone.

"Mahatma Gandhi came out of Gujarat wearing a dhoti and holding a staff. He showed the world the path of truth and non-violence. It's unfortunate to say today few leaders from the same Gujarat are creating obstacles in the path of truth and non-violence," said Akhilesh Yadav.

Stating that farmers are sad, the future of the next generation is in dark, and development is blocked, the former UP Chief Minister said, "Today a battle is being fought to save the Constitution on which rests the edifice of our democratic system." The SP spokesperson said a prayer meeting would be held on Monday at the SP headquarters and after that the next plans for the 'Gandhi Shanti Yatra' would be chalked out.

(Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan can be contacted at sanjeev.c@ians.in)

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