Rahul Gandhi’s car attacked in Gujarat’s Banasakantha, Congress calls for statewide protests

The Congress in Gujarat and Delhi alleged that party vice-president Rahul Gandhi's car was attacked by BJP workers, who also raised black flags during his visit. BJP leaders in Gujarat condemned the attack but described the visit as a “political stunt” ahead of assembly elections in the state.

Written by Satish Jha | Banaskantha | Updated: August 5, 2017 8:18 am
rahul gandhi car attacked, congress gujarat, rahul car attack gujarat, stones thrown on rahul gandhi car, indian express Banaskantha Superintendent of Police Neeraj Badgujar confirmed to The Indian Express that a stone was thrown at the car in which Rahul was on his way to the helipad after meeting flood victims at Dhanera.

THE CAR in which Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the flood-affected areas of Dhanera and Kankrej in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district was hit by a stone, which cracked the vehicle’s rear left window, triggering a war of words between his party and the ruling BJP.

The Congress leadership in Gujarat and Delhi alleged that the car was attacked by BJP workers, who also raised black flags during Gandhi’s visit. BJP leaders in Gujarat condemned the attack but described the visit as a “political stunt” ahead of assembly elections in the state.

The Congress has called for a statewide agitation on Saturday to protest the attack. In Delhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh strongly condemned the attack and said political violence has no place in a functioning democracy. Reacting to the incident, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani posted on Twitter: “I condemn the unfortunate attack on Rahul Gandhi’s convoy. I have instructed officers to take strict action against those responsible.”

Gujarat MoS for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said the Chief Minister has ordered a probe by ADGP Mohan Jha into the incident, which occurred while Gandhi was moving towards the helipad at Dhanera. Later, Gandhi told a gathering of Congress workers and flood victims at Runi village in Kankrej: “A stone was thrown and back flags were shown, but these don’t affect me. The job is done.”

Protesting against the attack, a group of Congress workers blocked traffic and burnt tyres in Patan. Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi alleged that “the attacked was planned by BJP” and said his party’s state general secretary Lalji Desai had lodged a complaint with police.

According to Doshi, the complaint sought the registration of an FIR against four BJP workers on charges under section 307 (attempt to murder) and 120 (b) (conspiracy). Banaskantha SP Niraj Badgujar didn’t respond to requests for comment. In his brief speech, Gandhi said, “The last few days have been very painful, land has been washed away, animals killed… I met a family that lost 17 members. I will take up these issues in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to pressure the government to help the affected people.”

Gandhi was accompanied by senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot and state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki. Earlier, addressing a gathering in Dhanera, Gandhi said, “You are facing a crisis and so I wanted to come to see you. I wanted to hug all those whose houses were flooded. My party will do everything to help you all.” As he was speaking, a few people, alleged to be BJP supporters, reached the spot, waving back flags.

In Delhi, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “The damage done to the motorcade and security personnel injured clearly shows that it was a well organised attack on Rahul Gandhi to harm him physically.” “This is being deliberately done by the BJP to create an atmosphere of fear in the state of Gujarat just before the assembly elections,” he said.

Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi called the attack “appalling and reprehensible”. He alleged that Gandhi was attacked with “cement bricks” by BJP workers when he was passing through Lal Chowk in the Dhanera area. “The SPG personnel accompanying him suffered minor injuries. Glass panes were broken. It was a dastardly attack for no reason other than the fact that Gandhi dares to visit a flood affected area in Gujarat,” he said. Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani alleged that the state government had arranged a bullet proof vehicle for Gandhi but he chose to travel in a private car.

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  1. C
    Chandu Shah
    Aug 6, 2017 at 12:46 pm
    Whoever did it did not do a good job.
    Reply
    1. G
      Gopalan Ramesh
      Aug 6, 2017 at 1:25 am
      Congress has reached a desperation level that they could self inflict injuries and blame modi. This is a true case of a congress leader who got himself attacked and repeated the same thing till police discovered. Also it is possible that people may be angry since he came with 4 old notes during demonetisation.There is no credibility and they are doing nothing to build one.
      Reply
      1. S
        sunder
        Aug 5, 2017 at 2:55 pm
        Which Congress? 44 buffaloes are in Karnataka enjoying Italian's feast. Who is left in Gujarat to protest?
        Reply
        1. M
          module
          Aug 5, 2017 at 1:04 pm
          If congress is a national, must stop BJP and Amit Sah's dictatorship politics. Congress must do offensive politics with ground level people. But before that, remove all inside BJP's informers. Already 15 yrs gone, but congress could not review or reorganized party. Amit Sah is doing everything there in Gujarat.
          Reply
          1. R
            Raamachandran
            Aug 5, 2017 at 10:18 am
            It is really aghast that Indian BJP politicians can stoop to such a low level to attack a genuine Well wisher and who visited the affected people to console them. After BJP took over the nation there is gradual downgradation in ethical values of Indians and poor are becoming further poor and rich becoming further richer. It is sad that we got independence from Britishers to see all these things.
            Reply
            1. R
              rameshnk
              Aug 5, 2017 at 10:10 am
              What is nthi sjoker Peppu doung in Gujarat after so many days. Picnic. Photopportunity. What can he do? He can do nothing. A very disgraceful and most ic of all the politcos.
              Reply
              1. T
                Turup
                Aug 5, 2017 at 10:08 am
                Few Safron Funtoossh BJP IT cell paid trolls using many names writing rubbish against Greatest Leader of this country Honorable Rahul Gandhi Ji the next PM in waiting. Current ones biggest Jokers who dance like Monkeys while giving speeches.
                Reply
                1. I
                  Indian
                  Aug 5, 2017 at 10:06 am
                  Fools or slaves? anger among flood-affected people.Nothing more than that why state wide protest fools want to make him hero out of nothing. His MLA' are enjoying or in custody in Karnataka, then why he go there?
                  Reply
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