The Congress has taken exception to a letter by the Amethi district administration asking party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to put off his three-day scheduled visit to his parliamentary constituency, on law and order grounds. While Rahul had planned to visit Amethi from October 4 to 6, officials want him to come only after October 5, saying forces deployed for Durga Puja and Moharram would not be free till then.
BJP president Amit Shah along with Union ministers is scheduled to hold a public meeting in Amethi on October 10, when foundation stones would be laid for different development projects like roads, railways, school etc. Congress sources said Rahul planned to visit his constituency before the visit of BJP leaders.
The Congress called the district administration’s move “politics of vendetta” and said Rahul would visit Amethi despite the advisory. “They have gone to this extent! He is the Member of Parliament of this constituency and now law and order would be a difficult to maintain during his visit! It is all politics of vendetta. The Special Protection Group has already arrived in the district and is in touch with the district administration. Rahulji will visit his constituency irrespective of any advisory,” said Chandrakant Dubey, the representative of Rahul in Amethi.
Amethi District Magistrate Yogesh Kumar wrote the letter to the district president of the Congress on September 30, informing that the Special Protection Group that guards the Congress vice-president had informed them about his proposed October 4-6 visit, and requesting that it be shifted to any date after October 5.
The letter further said that events related to Durga Puja and Moharram would be on in different parts of the district till October 5. “Adhikansh police bal, ukta tithiti tak duty mein vyasta rahega. Jiske karan Sansad Rahul Gandhiji ke janpad barman karikaram avasar par shanti, suraksha evam kanoon vyavastha banaye rakhne mein kafi asuvidha hogi (Most of the police force would be busy till the said date on duty. Because of which it will be highly inconvenient to ensure peace, security and law and order during MP Rahul Gandhi for his programmes),” wrote the District Magistrate.
The district administration denied that the move was influenced by politics. “I feel embarrassed at how the Congress has reacted to my advice. I have not stopped anyone and just requested them to shift the date by just two days after genuine concerns raised by officers on the field,” DM Kumar told The Indian Express.
He added, “There are 898 immersions of Durga idol scheduled at two ghats of Amethi, i.e. Isauli and Aam Ghat, till October 5. Even Moharram processions are going on. The entire machinery is deployed to ensure peace and law and order. While idols from Musafirkhana tehsil come to Isauli ghat, those from Tiloi tehsil arrive at Aam Ghat, and the visit of the MP is proposed to the same two areas. Both the sub-divisional magistrate and circle officer expressed concern over meeting the basic protocol requirements for security. Thus we made the request.”