The death of senior Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh in a deadly Naxal attack agitated party Vice President Rahul Gandhi so much so that he repeatedly kept asking Chief Minister Raman Singh as to how the tragedy occurred.
At a high-level meeting held yesterday attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,Congress chief Sonia Gandhi,the Chief Ministers and others,Rahul raised his voice and asked Raman Singh why enough security was not provided to the party’s ‘Parivartan yatra’,which was attacked by the Naxals killing 27 people,including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel,sources said.
Then Sonia Gandhi too joined her son in asking the state government officials about the failure to protect the Congress leaders and workers when they were engaged in political activities.
At this,the Chief Minister intervened saying protection was given to the Congress leaders and their guards were not lowered as political field in Chhattisgarh was unlike other states where rival parties bitterly fight each other,the sources said.
Singh told Rahul and Sonia that the Saturday’s incident was very unfortunate and that all political parties in Chhattisgarh were together in the fight against the Maoists and there was no question of allowing the extremists to target any political party or leader.
The Chief Minister also assured the Prime Minister,Sonia and Rahul that every effort will be made in future for security of Congress leaders and their political programmes.
Sources said the Prime Minister asked how the Darba Ghati carnage had happened to which Governor Shekhar Dutt said he would ask senior officers present to explain. Chief Secretary Sunil Kumar spoke up,saying adequate arrangements had been made for the Congress rally.
At this,Sonia reportedly told Kumar what he said was not correct and that the state government did not give enough security despite being informed well in advance.
She was echoing the complaint from angry partymen that ‘yatra’ had moved around Bastar without adequate security.
Rahul is understood to have expressed his frustration saying the state government was not serious about the security of his partymen.