The second day of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s visit to his parliamentary constituency Amethi was marred by protests at several places. Claiming that placards used in all the protests looked similar, Congress leaders alleged that these demonstrations were engineered by BJP and the state government.
Protesters in Gauriganj and Naudad areas of Amethi raised slogans like “Murdabad” and “Rahul Gandhi Wapas jao” and even called him a “thief”, alleging that land belonging to farmers was taken over by a trust he was associated with. Amid the protests, Rahul continued his Jan Sampark with police personnel deployed in large numbers at various places in anticipation of clashes between the protesters and Congress workers.
Congress leader Akhilesh Pratap Singh said, “These protests are clearly sponsored by BJP and the government. Many people among the protesters were outsiders. Moreover, placards at all the protests looked exactly the same and had similar slogans. At each place, 10-15 protesters were protected by at least 30 policemen, as if they had been given protection instead of the leader.”
Rahul, who began his day by meeting people at Munshiganj guest house, travelled through Musafirkhana, Jagdishpur, Gauriganj, Mohanganj and Tiloi areas of his constituency and met workers on the roadside. He, however, did not address a gathering anywhere. Starting from Musafirkhana, where Rahul had to skip a programme because of security concerns, the cavalcade was diverted through a bypass in Gauriganj area instead of taking the Congress chief to Gauriganj market, where workers had planned a welcome for him.
After going ahead for a few kilometres on the bypass, Rahul stopped the cavalcade when a few Congress workers standing on the roadside told him that they were waiting in Gauriganj market to welcome him, but were dispersed by the police. Police, they alleged, was protecting the protesters.
At this, local police officials were called to the spot and were questioned about the sudden change of route. While the officials claimed that it was for the security of the Congress chief, Rahul decided to walk over a kilometre to meet the workers in Gauriganj market, where he was given a welcome with flower petals.