Jairam Ramesh suffers attack on vehicle, says Assam CM 'loses mental balance' when it comes to Rahul Gandhi

Ramesh's vehicle was attacked by a crowd of what seemed to be BJP supporters carrying party flags en route to Kaliabor, at Jumugurihat, Sunitpur

Rahul Gandhi addresses a crowd in Assam
Rahul Gandhi addresses a crowd in Assam

NH Digital

As the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra re-entered Assam from Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday, Congress MP and communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh's vehicle was attacked by a crowd of what seemed to be BJP supporters carrying party flags en route to Kaliabor.

Posting on X, Ramesh wrote, "My vehicle was attacked a few minutes ago at Jumugurihat, Sunitpur by an unruly BJP crowd who also tore off the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra stickers from the windshield. They threw water and shouted anti-BJNY slogans. But we kept our composure, waved to the hooligans and sped away. This is undoubtedly the Assam CM @himantabiswa’s doing. We are not intimidated and will soldier on."

In a later post, he wrote, "The BJP is building a wall of hatred everywhere. The Chief Minister of Assam is giving statements that poison the society. Our vehicles are being attacked on their instructions. People accompanying the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra are being attacked. Banners and posters of the Yatra are being torn. But @RahulGandhi is responding to them lovingly. This is the shop of love in the market of hate."

Later, addressing a gathering in Nagaon, Gandhi said, "20-25 BJP workers carrying sticks came in front of our bus, and when I came out from the bus, they ran away...they think that Congress is scared of BJP and RSS, they're dreaming. They can tear as many posters and placards as they want, we don't care. we are not scared of anybody, we are neither scared of PM Narendra Modi nor the Assam CM."

Earlier, Ramesh had alleged that chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's BJP government had been creating hurdles for the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra 'every hour' as it entered its fourth day in the state on Sunday. People's support for the yatra has "rattled" the CM, who "loses his mental balance" at the mention of Congress and Rahul Gandhi, Ramesh claimed.

The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, which is travelling through Assam from 18 to 25 January, plans to cover 833 km across 17 districts here. The yatra commenced from Manipur on 14 January and will culminate in Mumbai on 20 March.

Addressing a press conference, Ramesh, who is accompanying Gandhi, said, "The problem is that the CM here loses his mental balance whenever he hears the name of Congress and Rahul Gandhi. What more can I say about it."

He claimed that Sarma was "rattled" from the first day of the yatra in the state after women, who had purportedly gathered at a government function, came forward to welcome Gandhi and clicked photos with him. "Since then, he has been agitated and rattled and finds one excuse or the other to create problems. There was an FIR in Jorhat, route permission issues in Guwahati, among others," he said.

"I have to again say, the first Bharat Jodo Yatra had travelled through four BJP-ruled states, but there were no major issues. Nowhere has the yatra been targeted by any CM as here. It is our first experience. Problems are being created every hour," the Congress leader said.

Also earlier on Sunday, Sarma said Gandhi should avoid visiting the birthplace of Srimanta Sankardeva at Batadrava on 22 January, as there can be no competition between Lord Ram and the medieval age Vaishnav saint revered as an icon in the state. The Congress, however, has announced that the visit will go ahead as scheduled.

The yatra and its chief organiser K.B. Byju had been slapped with an FIR in Jorhat over alleged route deviation when the yatra passed through the town on 18 January.

In Guwahati, where the yatra is scheduled to reach on 23 January, the Congress has claimed that permission for a padayatra and road show has been denied on the route and an interaction with journalists at Gauhati Press Club has also been refused. The party claimed that it has been allowed to proceed with the yatra through a peripheral road, which acts at the national highway bypass for the main city.

"Whether at the press club or not is another matter, but Gandhi will address the national media on 23 January. Even if it is at the camp site," Ramesh said.

On being purportedly denied a visit to the Press Club, he said, "We have the copy of the invitation sent to Rahul ji. But I don't want to put anyone in problem. I don't want to release it now as the CM will unnecessarily go after them. He indulges in vindictive politics just like the prime minister."

Ramesh urged Sarma to "relax" and let the Congress complete the yatra in a democratic manner. "He should continue to fill his coffers. He is a kuber (rich person) now, he will become a super kuber by the time the next elections come, and then people will give their reply," Ramesh added.

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