As Gujarat Congress workers continued to protest outside the BJP headquarters in the state against the attack on Rahul Gandhi’s convoy, the party vice-president asked leaders and workers to shift their attention towards helping flood-affected people. In a tweet on Saturday, the Congress leader said he respects the sentiments of his party workers. “Respect the sentiments of Congress workers in Gujarat protesting against the administration not filing an FIR against the stone pelting but I urge them to divert their energy in helping the people affected by floods in the state,” he wrote.
His remarks came a day after Gandhi’s car, in which he was travelling to visit the flood-affected areas in Banaskantha district of Gujarat, was hit by stones on Friday afternoon. While no one was injured in the attack, the left rear window of the car was damaged. While Gujarat BJP termed the incident as a “political gimmick”, the Congress alleged it was carried out by BJP workers. The Banaskantha police has arrested local BJP leader Jayesh Darji after the Congress accused him of involvement in the attack. Also Read: Rahul Gandhi says attack on my car carried out by BJP-RSS people
On being asked why PM Modi has given no statement condemning the attack, Gandhi said, “How can one, who is involved himself, condemn?… It is a way of Modi ji’s and BJP-RSS politics, what can one say?”
He had also posted a tweet on Friday saying he would 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 wrote on Twitter.
A number of Congress leaders have reacted to the attack on Gandhi’s convoy.
“The attack on Rahul Gandhi was done by the BJP, RSS people under a pre-planned conspiracy. It is a murderous attack by the BJP and the RSS on the Congress vice president,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Asked why Gandhi did not accept the bullet proof car provided by the state government, Azad said sometimes one has to use a non-bullet proof car and be sensitive to the public.
Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Lok Sabha MP, said, “What is happening is not good for the country and for the democracy. If people are in distress, meeting them is not an offence and giving this treatment to those who meet the people is not good.”
“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,” Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan Congress president, said.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Party spokesperson Sharmishta Mukherjee added: “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.”
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “Political violence has no place in a functioning democracy.”