National

Rahul’s car stoned on visit to flood-ravaged Gujarat

Virendra Pandit Gandhinagar | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on August 04, 2017

A helping hand: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and the party’s Rajasthan chief Sachin Pilot interact with the flood-affected in Jalore, Rajasthan, on Friday   -  PTI

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, along with villagers, inspects an embankment which was broken by floods, at Amtol village in Lakhimpur on August 3.   -  PTI

Earlier, the Congress vice president was heckled by protesters at an event.

Party politics upstaged issues of flood relief in Gujarat on Friday, with Rahul Gandhi booed, subjected to jeers, black flags and even a stone that broke his car’s pane, leaving the Congress Vice-President’s aide with minor injuries.

The Congress leader was on a whistle-stop tour of flood-affected North Gujarat. He and his party blamed the BJP for this ‘fiasco’.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has condemned the attack. A case has been registered against four persons.

The attack on Rahul occurred when he was headed from Lal Chowk at Dhanera in Banaskantha district towards the helipad. He was immediately taken in another car to the destination. “There were 8 or 10 of them. When I headed towards them, they fled. We cannot be forced back by stones thrown by Narendra Modi’s men. I have come to hear your tales of woes. Such incidents happen so that you don’t ask real questions,” the Gandhi scion told reporters at Runi.

While condemning the incident, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said Gandhi used a private vehicle instead of the bullet-proof car offered as per protocol. After the incident, the car was taken to a police station for investigation.

At Malotara, Rahul questioned the BJP government’s flood-relief measures and said the “reality” was totally different from its “claims”.

Irate villagers

Reports say the flood victims, who were waiting for the Congress leader since morning, had grown frustrated by the time Rahul visited them hours later, for a brief visit. At the Dhanora APMC premises, he spent a few minutes shaking hands with a few people, assured them help and left in a hurry. At Malotara, where 17 people of a single family died, the Congress leader spent less than 10 minutes. At Runi, in his short speech amid commotion, Rahul blamed successive BJP governments for farmers’ woes and unemployment, and focused on the failure of the Centre’s “Make in India” programme. “We will do whatever we can to offer you relief although we don’t have our government either in Gujarat or at the Centre,” he told the flood affected.

This left hundreds of waiting people disappointed and angry. Amid commotion, and chanting of “Modi, Modi” and waiving of black flags, apparently by BJP workers, his public meeting was cancelled at Dhanera.

Conspicuous by his absence was Ahmed Patel, who is the Congress’ candidate for the August 8 election to the Rajya Sabha. None of the Congress MLAs of the flood-hit areas was present either as they are lodged at a resort near Bengaluru since last week.

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Published on August 04, 2017
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