Shoe thrown at Rahul Gandhi in Uttarakhand poll rally

Shoe misses target; Congress leader heard requesting police not to beat up offender.

Written by Express News Service | Dehradun | Published: January 23, 2012 5:44:54 pm

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was at the receiving end of a flying shoe at a rally in Dehradun,Uttarakhand on Monday afternoon.

The shoe flew past him and the offender,identified as one Kuldeep,was immediately taken into custody. Gandhi was heard requesting security officers not to beat up the man.

The shoe fell metres short of the Congress leader,Dehra Dun Special Superintendent of Police G N Goswami said.

Shoes seem to be flying thick and fast in Uttarakhand this poll season with one thrown last Saturday at Team Anna in Dehradun.

Arvind Kejriwal was addressing the gathering at Lord Venkateshwara Hall when a shoe whizzed past him. But it missed the social activist,as well as fellow anti-graft campaigners Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia who were on the dais. The Uttarakhand police arrested the attacker Kishan Lal,35.

Rahul addressed a series of political rallies in the area on Monday. In Rishikesh,in a bid to puncture the ruling BJP’s pro-Khanduri campaign,he asked why the current chief minister was removed in his earlier stint if he was so badly needed now.

“BJP may need Khanduriji but people of the state don’t need him,they need development. I want to ask BJP if he (Khanduri) is so badly needed then why was he removed (in 2009),” asked Gandhi at an election rally.

As he began the second leg of the poll campaign in the hill state where Assembly elections are due on January 30,Gandhi also attacked BJP for adopting double standards on the issue.

Rahul said,”They say we are not serious in fighting corruption. But they do not see corruption scandals perpetrated by their own governments in Karnataka or Gujarat or Chhattisgarh,Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

“Even tainted ministers of Uttar Pradesh including Baburam Kushwaha recently removed by Chief Minister Mayawati joined the BJP”.

Mentioning various alleged scams like the Sturdia land scam,irregularities in the allotment of mini power projects and the Maha Kumbh scam that surfaced during the BJP government,the Congress leader said if the BJP was sincere in fighting corruption,why did these scams take place.

Instead,he said the Congress-led government at the Centre immediately took action and sent to jail several people including its ministers found indulging in corruption.

He alleged the central government brought a strong Lokpal Bill in the Parliament but the BJP did not allow it to be passed.

The Congress leader also criticised the BJP government of Uttarakhand for misusing central funds for their own interests.

At a rally in Srinagar,Rahul mocked the BJP slogan “Khanduri Hai Jaroori” (Khanduri is esential),and said the chief minister was indeed needed for the BJP to cover up acts of “thieves”.

Rahul said,”Khanduri is needed because thieves need cover. (Khanduri isliye zaroori hai kyonki choron ko chhupana hai)”.

The Congress general secretary also announced a plan for a railway line in Uttarakhand if Congress was brought to power.

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