Panaji, Mar 27 (IANS): The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Sunday joined the Congress' 'Satyagraha' to protest INC leader Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from the Lok Sabha.
Slamming the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Goa unit NCP president Jose Philip D'Souza said: "We used to criticise the Portuguese regime... but see what is happening today! It is wrong to suppress the voice in democracy."
He said this while speaking at the 'Satyagraha' staged by Congress near the Mahatma Gandhi Statue in Old Goa to protest the action against Rahul Gandhi following his conviction in a defamation case by a Gujarat court.
D'Souza said that currently, there is no democracy "but only dictatorship is seen".
"We are supporting Rahul Gandhi on this issue. It is the need of the hour that we unite. When we were in power, we used to respect the people and the media," D'Souza, also a former minister, said.
He said Rahul Gandhi was disqualified in a fast-track manner to suppress his voice, "which is like suppressing the voice of people".
Meanwhile, Congress' Goa unit chief Amit Patkar said "democracy is in danger".
"To protect democracy, everyone should unite. The BJP suppresses voices by filing cases. Rahul Gandhi was raising issues that were being faced by the country... but the one who speaks, his/her voice is suppressed. We are not afraid of such things," he said.
He said if "people raise questions about business tycoon Gautam Adani, they might even be sent behind bars".
Leader of the Opposition in Goa Assembly, Yuri Alemao, said "what is seen these days is dictatorship".
"The Bharat Jodo Yatra was a movement to highlight the communal politics. Rahul Gandhi got good support from the yatra and after its success, the Central government got scared," Alemao said.
He further said "crony capitalists and double engine governments have ruined the future of the youth".
"Dictatorship should be stopped. Rahul Gandhi was disqualified because the BJP could not face him. It was a 'black day' in the country," he said.