Ahmedabad: Over 900 Congress workers, besides seven MLAs, were detained by police from different places in Banaskantha district for blocking the roads to Deesa town where Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a cheese manufacturing plant of the Banas Dairy on Saturday.
The Congress men were protesting against demonetisation move of the central government. More than 500 Congress workers blocked central minister Haribhai Chaudhary’s car for about two hours in Palanpur when he was proceeding towards Deesa and police had a tough time in dispersing the protesters. The Congress workers had also burnt tyres on the road to prevent his car from driving ahead.
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Banaskantha District Congress Committee president Zakir Chauhan said that party workers also organised “chakka jam”’ near Chhapi on Vadgam-Deesa highway and blocked the traffic at Ratanpur crossroads by felling roadside trees. Chauhan said that roads were also blocked at Vagrol, Karad, Khimana, Dhanera and Dantiwada.
Prominent among those who were detained included Govabhai Desai, Mahesh Patel, Kantibhai Kharadi, Joitabhai Patel, Amit Chaudhary, Mahendrasinh Bariya and Mani Lal, all MLAs. The MLAs had led the protests and blockade at different places in the district. AAP media convener Harshil Nayak said that his party had also planned a protest on Saturday but could not do so because four of his leaders from Palanpur were taken in preventive custody a day earlier.
According to Banaskantha Superintendent of Police Neeraj Badgujar, protesters were not successful in stopping people from reaching the venue. “Some persons even tried to block traffic by burning tyres on roads connecting Deesa with adjoining towns. However, we have immediately detained these miscreants and cleared the roads. They were not successful in their intention of stopping people from reaching PM’s rally, which saw presence of more than 2 lakh persons. They were released after the PM’s function ended,” claimed Badgujar.