The Gandhinagar police on Monday detained 20-odd Congress leaders, including Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) chief Amit Chavda, for holding a protest march to the Raj Bhavan here without permission.
Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Paresh Dhanani, and a couple of senior Congress legislators were among those detained. Newly appointed GPCC Working President Hardik Patel was conspicuous by his absence.
The march was part of the nationwide demonstrations planned for Monday by the Congress to protest against alleged anti-constitutional and anti-democratic behaviour of constitutional authorities which it said were playing into the hands of the BJP.
Before the march, the Gujarat Congress chief said: “The constitutional authorities like the Governors, who should act without bias, according to the Constitution of India, safeguarding the values of democracy, are falling into the hands of BJP pressure.
“The Rajasthan Chief Minister proposed to the Governor in his state to give permission to hold a special Assembly session, a mere formality, for discussing the prevailing coronavirus situation.
“Instead, the Rajasthan Governor denied such permission, despite proposals from various quarters like the Cabinet and other MLAs. The Governor is acting in favour of the central government, which is trying to topple elected governments across the nation.
“To protest such anti-democratic and unconstitutional behaviour by the Rajasthan Governor, the Congress is holding demonstrations in front of the Governors residences in their respective states. As part of that campaign, we are holding a protest demonstration at the residence of Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat.”
Gandhinagar Deputy Superintendent of Police MK Rana said these Congress leaders did not have the required permission to carry out any demonstration or hold a protest march.
He said: “They gathered at the Circuit House here and started marching towards the Governor’s residence. Despite our efforts and attempts to convince them not to do so, they continued to march towards the Raj Bhavan. So we detained around 20 Congress leaders.”
Apart from Chavda and Dhanani, Imran Khedawala, Gyasuddin Shaikh and many other senior legislators from the Congress in Gujarat were detained.