01:07 GMT28 January 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian National Congress, the country's main opposition party, led by Sonia Gandhi, has held a mega rally in historic Ramlila Ground in Delhi amid a crippling economic slowdown and massive protests across the country over the Citizenship Amendment Act.

    Sonia Gandhi's Indian National Congresshas rallied thousands at Ramlila Ground in Delhi amid growing ire directed at the Prime Minister's party. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been blamed by many for India's crippling economic slowdown and massive protests across the country over legislation which would grant citizenship to a range of non-Muslim immigrants.

    ​Rahul Gandhi, former party president, blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for single-handedly destroying the economy of India. Rahul also raised the issue of increasing crimes against women.

    “I was told in Parliament by BJP on Friday 'Rahul, you gave a speech. Apologise for that.' I was told to apologise for something which is right. My name is not Rahul Savarkar. My name is Rahul Gandhi. I will die but never apologise for truth,” Rahul Gandhi said while addressing emotionally charged party workers.

    Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi said that in the six years Modi has headed the government, the economy has tanked.

    "Our economy was developing at a rate that the world turned their attention to us, but in six years of Modi government, our economy has tanked, people are losing jobs, and factories are shutting down," she stated.

    Raising the issue of the newly-enacted citizenship law, Priyanka Gandhi urged people to oppose the law.

    “One who doesn't fight against injustice in country will be judged as a coward,” Priyanka Gandhi said at the packed venue, which is capable of accommodating around a million people. Police official termed the rally one of the largest in recent memory. The spillover crowd choked the surrounding roads.

    Massive protests have erupted across India against the law which provides opportunities to six religious minorities – Hindus, Parsis, Jains, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs – from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to receive Indian citizenship if they arrived in India before 2015. Due to the violent protests in Assam, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled his visit to an annual summit with Indian Prime Minister Modi.

    The Indian economy has been facing an unprecedented slowdown for past two years despite infusing massive liquidity through various means at the government level. Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday claimed that the government is analysing the state of the economy ahead of announcing steps to boost growth in next budget in February.

    Sitharaman’s assurance comes amid a deepening economic slowdown. India’s economic growth decelerated to 4.5% in the September quarter, its slowest pace since March 2013.


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