Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday alleged that workers belonging to the BJP and RSS were behind the attack on his car in Gujarat. “Jo apne aap kaam karta hai, wo condemn kaise karega, (How can one, who is involved himself, condemn?)” the party vice-president said when asked about the absence of any statement from the PM condemning the attack on him. He also said, “Modi ji aur BJP-RSS ka rajneeti ka tareeka hai, kya keh sakte hain? (It is a way of Modi ji’s and BJP-RSS politics, what can one say?)”
Earlier, Gandhi had declared that he will not be deterred by the incident. “Narendra Modi ji’s slogans, black flags and stones will not stop us…. We will put in all our might into the service of people,” he had said on Twitter.
Gandhi’s car, in which he was travelling to visit the flood-affected areas in Banaskantha district of Gujarat, was hit by stones. The impact broke the rear left window of the car. While BJP in Gujarat termed the incident a “political gimmick”, the Congress alleged that it was carried out by BJP members, who also raised black flags during Gandhi’s tour.
Congress leaders reacted strongly to the attack, with former PM Manmohan Singh saying, “Political violence has no place in a functioning democracy.”
Congress leader Sachin Pilot, who accompanied the party scion on his recent tour to Rajasthan to survey the flood situation, also accused the BJP of engaging in dirty politics. “What sort of politics is the BJP govt practicing? Allowing such attack on Rahul Gandhi’s vehicle. This must be condemned in the strongest terms,” he said.
Congress spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee blamed the state government of failing to provide security cover to the Congress vice-president. “This is a premeditated attack. Rahul ji is a SPG protectee; It is the duty of the state government to ensure his safety. This is a major security breach,” she said to ANI.
(with inputs from agencies)