On Cong's foundation day, leaders from Pb, Hry recall party's role in freedom movement

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Chandigarh, Dec 28 (PTI) On the 136th foundation day of the Congress on Monday, senior party leaders from Punjab and Haryana recalled that it had steered the nation's freedom struggle and laid the base of a modern India.

Various events were held across the two states and their common capital Chandigarh to mark the occasion.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he was proud to be part of the party, which steered the nation's freedom struggle and laid the foundation of a modern India.

'Proud to be part of historic@INC India, a party with deep roots that steered the nation's freedom struggle & laid the foundations of modern India.

'I thank every member of the party on its 136th Foundation Day for upholding its values & the ethos of India's Constitution!' he said in a tweet.

Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who addressed party workers at a function held in Rohtak, said the Congress not only fought the British to liberate the country, but even today, is leading the fight for public interest.

He also referred to the farmers' movement against the Centre's new farm laws and appealed to the government to accept the farmers' demands at the earliest.

In Chandigarh, a function was organised by the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee at the party headquarters to mark the occasion.

Addressing the party leaders and workers present on the occasion, Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja said successive governments of the grand old party had played an important role in the making of a 'new India' after independence.

'When the country got freedom from the British, it was facing many crises due to a severe shortage of resources. Despite all the difficulties, the Congress governments played an important role in the development of the country,' she said.

Selja said public interest has always been paramount for the Congress and it 'is nowhere seen in the BJP government today'.

'Under the BJP government, the country is going through a period of great crisis. Unemployment is at its peak and the economy has collapsed. The rights of the people belonging to scheduled castes and weaker sections are being continuously attacked. A conspiracy is being hatched to damage the farm sector.

'Thousands of farmers are protesting against farm laws, but the government is looking after the interests of only a few capitalists. Efforts are being made to crush the voice of those who raise it against the government,' she said.

Speaking at an event in Bathinda, Punjab's Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal also hit out at the BJP, alleging that the saffron party is dividing people on the basis of caste, creed, region etc.

In Jalandhar, Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary said the party's role in the country's development is unparalleled and added that it not only fought for independence, but also laid the foundation of a strong, secular and modern India. He said the country was built on the idea of secularism, where no one was discriminated against on the basis of religion, 'but the BJP is out to demolish our constitutional values'.

On the occasion, Congress workers took a pledge to protect the constitutional values and institutions.

At many places, Congress leaders and party workers took out 'tiranga yatra' to mark the occasion.

Speaking at an event here on the occasion of the party's foundation day, the president of its Chandigarh unit, Pradeep Chhabra, said Congress leaders have given their sweat and blood for the nation.

He said the sense of nationalism and patriotism is ingrained in the hearts of all Congress members.

Hitting out at the BJP, Chhabra said, 'Today, it has become a norm for BJP leaders to label anyone who thinks of raising a voice against their flawed policies or unfulfilled promises as anti-national.' PTI SUN VSD RC