In an audio message, the Prime Minister urged all BJP parliamentarians and legislators to participate in the fast and "expose the handful of people who had throttled democracy" by disrupting the budget session.
"Those who couldn't gain power in 2014, don't want the country to move forward. They didn't let parliament work for a single day. They killed democracy and we will observe the fast to expose them in front of the world," he said through teleconference, addressing MPs to mark social reformer Jyotiba Phule's birth anniversary.
While a few ministers will be in Delhi for the fast, many will travel to other cities or their home states for the nationwide protest. Amit Shah will sit on protest in Hubli in Karnataka, where elections will be held on May 12.The BJP had earlier announced that all MPs of the ruling National Democratic Alliance would forego their salaries and allowances for 23 days due to the budget session disaster.Earlier this week, Congress leaders led by Rahul Gandhi had observed a day's fast at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial Rajghat to protest against the violence during a "Bharat Bandh" called by Dalit groups protesting against what they believe the dilution of a law meant to protect them from atrocities.
The Congress fast made more headlines for the wrong reasons. A few of its leaders, including Delhi chief Ajay Maken, were seen having a big breakfast at a restaurant in photos that were widely shared on social media. The party also removed two leaders accused of leading mobs during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, from the stage at the protest site before Rahul Gandhi's arrival.