Mumbai, Oct 2 (IANS): Anguished at the policy of 'Divide and Rule' being perpetrated in the country by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the national Opposition INDIA bloc will flex political muscles with a peace padayatra, 'I Am Gandhi' ('Mai Bhi Gandhi') here on Monday to mark the 154th birth anniversary of the 'Father of the Nation' -- Mahatma Gandhi.
Maharashtra Congress President Varsha Gaikwad, along with top leaders of the INDIA bloc slammed the incidents of hatred taking place frequently in Mumbai and the whole state.
"While condemning these incidents, there is also a strong need to inculcate goodwill in the society. The INDIA bloc will spread Gandhiji's teachings of "Love, Peace and Goodwill" among the people through the foot-march today," said Gaikwad.
Thousands of people will participate in the 'I Am Gandhi' foot-march on the twin birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, from Metro Cinema to Mantralaya on Monday, she added.
INDIA bloc constituents like Samajwadi Party State President and MLA Abu Azmi, former MLA and Nationalist Congress Party leader Vidya Chavan, NCP City President Rakhi Jadhav, Aam Aadmi Party City President Preeti Sharma-Menon, CPI's Prakash Reddy, DMK's State Chief A. Meeran, CPM's Shailendra Kamble, Peasant and Workers Party leader Samya Korde, JD(U) President Amit Jha, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Mohammad Iqbal, among others, will join the padayatra.
Besides political leaders, Gandhians and secularists like Tushar Gandhi, G. G. Parikh, Feroze Mithiborwala, Guddi S. L., Ram Puniyani, Irfan Engineer, Sandhya Gokhale, Niranjani Shetty, Prerna Desai, Ali Bhojani and civil society activists will also march, coming ahead of the upcoming civic, Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Maharashtra.
Gaikwad said that hate incidents in different forms are growing throughout the country, whether denying housing to Marathi people or the beating of a Marathi boy in the city, for which the BJP and RSS are responsible.
"We flay these incidents and the BJP's duplicity… When PM Narendra Modi goes abroad, he bows before Mahatma Gandhi and Gautam Buddha, but back home, his followers glorify the killers of Gandhiji, they hurl slurs, disrespect the national flag and the National Anthem," she added.
The social activists said the padayatra is themed on 'Nafraton Bharat Chhodo, Mohabbat se Dilonko Jodo, Bharat Jodo, Bharat Jodo', and propagate the ideals of universal peace, brotherhood, communal harmony close to Gandhiji.