Rahul Gandhi asked not to hold street-corner meeting, padyatra in Assam's Morigaon
Congress president criticises Assam government, claims it is so "scared" of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra that BJP workers attacked state Congress chief without any reason
The Morigaon district commissioner on Monday asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to refrain from holding a street-corner meeting and a padayatra as part of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, saying "miscreants" may try to disrupt peace and tranquility in the district.
"On the basis of intelligence inputs, the district administration apprehends the involvement of miscreants who may try to disrupt the peace and tranquility of the district by indulging in anti-social activities taking advantage of two major events happening on the same day — The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra and the Ram Lalla Pran Pratistha — simultaneously," district commissioner Devashis Sarma said in a letter to the Congress functionaries.
"In the interest of Rahul Gandhi's safety and security, who is a 'Z plus' protectee along with our responsibility to avert any probable law and order disruption in Morigaon district, we request that the party refrains from proposed street-corner meeting at the Bihutoli police point and padyatra from the Srimanta Sankardeva Chowk in Morigaon town," the letter said.
Earlier in the day, Gandhi was barred from visiting the birthplace of iconic Vaishnav saint Srimanta Sankardeva, with Congress leader Jairam Ramesh claiming Prime Minister Narendra Modi "exerted pressure" on the Assam government to prevent Gandhi from visiting the birthplace of the Vaishnav saint to pay obeisance.
Gandhi was prevented from visiting the venue on Monday morning and stopped at Haiborgaon, where he and senior Congress leaders, party workers and supporters sat on a dharna.
On Sunday, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge criticised the BJP government in Assam, claiming that the party was so "scared" of the success of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra that they attacked state PCC chief Bhupen Kumar Borah without any reason.
Referring to the attack on Borah, Kharge said, "The yatra is going on so successfully that BJP people are scared and they attacked our state party chief. But he (Borah) is not afraid, nor any Congress worker."
"Our state president was bleeding from his nose. Where has tolerance gone in the country? Our people were conducting a peaceful yatra," Kharge told PTI.
Recalling Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's roots in the Congress, Kharge told PTI, "It is a case of 'meri billi, mujh hi se meow' (the cat which was with us earlier is now 'meowing' at us)? We have seen many such people and they cannot scare us. Congress was not afraid of British, how can we be afraid of the BJP?"
He also criticised the CM for a recent social media post, which purportedly contained derogatory casteist remarks against the Dalits, and said Congress's first Bharat Jodo Yatra in 2022-23 had passed through several BJP-ruled states but "no stone was hurled" at it.
Kharge also mentioned how Sarma was termed 'corrupt' by BJP leaders Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, but when he "sat on their laps, he was cleansed by the washing machine".
The Congress president maintained that the party works to unite people, while the BJP tries to divide. He also claimed that it was during Congress regimes at the Centre that states of Northeast were given their due status.
With inputs from agencies