Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge has alleged that BJP engineered yesterday’s attack on the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra and said then Congress will not be intimidated, no matter what. In the passing, he took a swipe at Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who once belonged to the Congress.
Assam’s ruling BJP is so “scared” of the success of Congress’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra that they attacked the state Congress chief Bhupen Kumar Borah, Mr Kharge said at a rally in Nagaon.
Though last year’s Bharat Jodo Yatra passed through several BJP-ruled states, “no stone was hurled” at it, he said.
“Even in Nagpur, which has the RSS headquarters, lakhs of people joined us and there was no incident,” he said. “Why is it happening in Assam? It is happening here because (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji’s ‘chela’ (disciple), who blindly listens to his ‘sahab’ (boss),” he said.
Referring to the attack on state Congress chief, Mr Kharge said, “He (Mr Borah) is not afraid, nor any Congress worker… We have seen many such. This is like having my cat growl at me… We did not fear the British. No question of being afraid of the BJP”.
A police case was filed today following a complaint by the Congress about yesterday’s attack. The Congress alleged that BJP goons had vandalised the party flags as the Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra through Assam’s Sonitpur district. One man got injured.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said he confronted a group of BJP workers who tried to block and interrupt the Yatra in Assam. As the BJP workers tried to stop the bus, Mr Gandhi got off and talked to them.
At a public meeting, he later said the Congress workers can’t be cowed down. “They are not scared of your Prime Minister Modi or your local Chief Minister,” he said.
The Assam BJP hit back.
Deputy Speaker of Assam Assembly and BJP MLA Dr Numal Momin accused Mr Kharge of making “baseless allegation”.
“I think the Congress is nervous – the way people rejected the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. We have a serious doubt that this is an evil design by the Congress party to malign BJP and our Chief Minister”..
“I condemn the statements of Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi. They should find out who did that. Our police and administration are very active. Our Chief Minister is very strong in taking action against the culprits,” he added.