We are not going to step back because of ‘Narendra Modi slogans’, black flags and stone pelting. We will do our best to help people, says Rahul Gandhi
ABDUL HAFIZ LAKHANI | Caravan Daily
AS Gujarat faces the worst floods and rains this monsoon, this has turned handy for political parties to gain upper hand in the state. Aggressive and unscrupulous ruling dispensation, greedy for power and control seeks to convert the floods and the destruction into one more electoral strategy in the poll bound state.
As the political rival Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s car was pelted with stones while he was touring the flood-affected Banaskantha district of Gujarat on Friday, he escaped unhurt as he was sitting in the front seat. Rahul was travelling with SPG commandos, some of whom were reportedly injured in the attack as they were sitting in the back of the car.
Rahul Gandhi on Friday faced hostile black flag waving crowds shouting slogans in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during, forcing his party to cancel a scheduled public meeting.
The Congress vice-president hit out at the Prime Minister Modi in a tweet saying: “We are not going to step back because of ‘Narendra Modi slogans’, black flags and stone pelting. We will do our best to help people.” Gandhi, who arrived on a day-long visit to flood-affected regions of north Gujarat, flew to Dhanera from flood-hit areas in Rajasthan and spoke to people at Manotra village as well as surrounding areas, before proceeding to the town’s agriculture produce marketing yard to meet the farmers and traders. As he reached Lal Chowk in Dhanera town, he met with crowds showing him black flags and shouting slogans for Prime Minister Modi while protesting against him.
The Press Trust of India also quoted a police officer as saying that the man who threw stones at his car has been detained.
Banaskantha, one of the areas in Gujarat worst-affected by the flood, is represented by six Congress lawmakers but none of them have visited their constituencies. They are at a resort in Bengaluru – an attempt by the Congress to protect them from being poached before the Rajya Sabha polls on Tuesday. The Congress flew 43 Gujarat lawmakers to Bengaluru last Friday to prevent more defections after six of its legislators quit.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s advisor, faces a tough contest on one of the three Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat, as he seeks re-election into the upper house. He tweeted: “Attack on an SPG protectee is yet another manifestation of BJP’s frustration and government’s absolute failure to protect law and order in Gujarat.”
The attack also raises serious security questions as the Congress leader gets SPG security cover. He escaped because he was in a convoy. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani described Rahul Gandhi as a “perpetual tourist” and said that the people of his state are asking where their Congress MLAs were during this crucial time (of floods).” Rahul Gandhi’s leadership style is working wonders in his party. Following him, Congress MLAs are also in vacation mode! People of Gujarat know the tricks of the Congress rather too well. Their anti-people & anti-Gujarat mindset is not a secret,” Rupani said in a series of tweets.