When it’s difficult to tell where exactly Rahul Gandhi has been the past few weeks, it would be impossible to know the provenance of the rumour behind his presence at the birthplace of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Mhow cantonment in Madhya Pradesh, on the occasion of his 124th birth anniversary on Tuesday.
No one had officially announced the itinerary of the Congress vice-president, but not many seemed to have missed him in this cantonment town that is crowded only on the anniversary of the architect of the Constitution or when political parties hold their rallies.
“I had an intuition that he won’t come. How could he when the Congress has lost ground in this region,” said Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial Society president Bhante Sanghasheel said on Tuesday.
Former chairman of MP Scheduled Castes Commission and the brain behind the Dr Ambedkar Parinirvan Bhumi Samman Karyakram Samiti Indresh Gajbhiye said he had succeeded in inviting Rajiv Gandhi to this place during the centenary celebrations of Dr Ambedkar. “The former Prime Minister heard things from one ear and allowed them to go out of the other ear. I don’t expect his son to know much of the demands raised by the scheduled castes.
I knew he won’t come because I had called up the district magistrate to know if he had received any schedule,” Gajbhiye told The Indian Express.
The Congress called the rumour BJP’s malicious misinformation campaign. “There was no programme at all, no Congress leader ever talked about it,’’ PCC chief Arun Yadav said here. Yadav had accompanied senior Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde who was drafted by the party to visit the memorial which remained a low key affair. Congress spokesman K K Mishra said the rumour had originated in Delhi and should have died there, but it did not.