NEW DELHI: Upset over political developments in Maharashtra, the Congress and other opposition parties boycotted Constitution Day celebrations in the Central Hall of Parliament and held a joint protest in front of the Ambedkar statue inside Parliament complex.

Congress, DMK, SP, NCP, RJD, CPI, CPM, TMC, IUML, and Shiv Sena leaders skipped the joint sitting of both the Houses in Parliament as a mark of protest against the BJP's alleged high-handedness in Maharashtra.

The protest was led by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party leader Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress and opposition leaders met at Parliament House this morning to finalise the protest.

Sonia Gandhi led the protesters in taking a pledge to uphold the Constitution. She read out the Preamble to the Constitution and resolved to stand by the fundamental values of the Constitution.

Among leaders who protested outside were DMK's T R Baalu, Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant, TMC's Saugata Roy, NCP's Majeed Memo.

The Congress on Constitution Day Tuesday said it resolved to save the soul of the Constitution by not allowing it to be mortgaged to an "autocratic government blinded by the insatiable lust for power". In a first, the Congress was supported by the Shiv Sena in the protest.

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