Rahul Gandhi, who is on a three-day visit to his constituency Amethi on Friday, was stopped by a group of protesters near Gauriganj, demanding a pay rise, according to ANI.
The Congress vice-president was on the third day of his visit and was headed towards Lucknow from Amethi, when reportedly a group of anganwadi workers stopped his convoy and demanded a pay hike. Incidentally, there is a nationwide strike of 10 central trade unions who are protesting what they call anti-worker changes in labour laws and demand improvement in wages on Thursday.
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As Times Now reported, Rahul came out of his vehicle to speak to the agitated workers, but as media approached him, he returned to his car refusing to talk to either the protesters or reporters. The report further said that Rahul's security personnel, in the course of intervening, allegedly misbehaved with the women protesters, following which the women spat on the road as a sign of protest. However, according to NDTV, the protesters managed to get an audience with their MP, before he continued his journey.
The NDTV report said that a group of over 150 protesters were sloganeering at the scene, of which almost 50 managed to get very close to Rahul's convoy.
According Times Now, the protesters were seen raising slogans like ""Teen hazar me dan nahi rajya karmchari kisi se kam nahi " (Three thousand rupees are not enough, state government employees are no less than anyone else) and "humari mange puri karo chahe jo majburi ho" (Comply with our demands, we don't care what restraints you face.)
However, this is not the first protest that the three-time MP from Amethi and Congress second-in-command had to face on this visit. Trouble brewed within the party on Thursday as an expelled Congress member and his supporters staged a dharna during Rahul's visit demanding the removal of party president Sonia Gandhi's representative KL Sharma.
Protesters, led by Rajesh Pandey, blocked the Munshiganj crossing when local MP and Congress vice- president was meeting people from his constituency at the Munshiganj guest house. Pandey and his supporters tried to march into the guest house to meet Rahul and demand Sharma's removal, but the police chased them away.
Rahul reached Amethi for his three-day tour late on Wednesday night, while on Friday he was due to attend a meeting of district vigilance and monitoring committee before leaving for Delhi.
The Amethi visit comes ahead of Rahul's proposed mahayatra from Deoria in eastern Uttar Pradesh to Delhi from 6 September traversing as many as 233 Assembly constituencies to reach out to people ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh polls slated for early next year. The Congress vice-president would travel through 39 districts of Uttar Pradesh, covering 2,500 km in the nearly month- long exercise.
The mahayatra is a programme organised after the successful roadshow of Congress President Sonia Gandhi earlier this month.
With inputs from PTI