The ruling BJP in Rajasthan said on Monday that the Opposition Congress was intimidated by the popularity of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and was trying to disrupt her statewide Gaurav Yatra using "various means".
Former Rajasthan BJP president Ashok Parnami said Congress national general secretary Ashok Gehlot was "afraid" of Raje's popularity after a few people pelted stones at Raje's meeting on Saturday in Pipad town of Jodhpur division.
Raje and other BJP leaders have accused the Congress of staging the incident.
The Opposition party has condemned the incident but said it does not adopt such kind of tactics. "Congress doesn't want the yatra to proceed and is trying to disrupt it through various means, including by filing a writ petition in the High Court and then pelting stones on Raje's Rath in Pipad. Why is Ashok Gehlot afraid of Raje's rising popularity," Parnami said at a press conference in Jaipur. He showed videos in which a group of people could be seen supporting Gehlot and inciting the crowd to pelt stones on Raje's cavalcade.
Congress has a stronghold in Pipad and they cannot shy away from responsibility by only condemning the incident, he added. Fifteen people have been arrested in connection with the incident, Additional Superintendent of Police (Jodhpur rural), Khinv Singh said, adding, five of them were taken into custody on Monday.
The BJP leader said the people arrested would reveal their identity during police interrogation. Gehlot and state Congress chief Sachin Pilot on Sunday condemned the stone-pelting incident and said it was unfortunate that the BJP was holding their party responsible. "It is a highly condemnable act if someone has thrown stones during the visit of the Chief Minister," Gehlot had tweeted.
Parmani said the people of Rajasthan have been supporting Raje's yatra, which began from Udaipur division on 4 August. This is the second phase of the yatra. On Saturday night, a few miscreants disrupted Raje's yatra and pelted stones during a meeting. Stones were also hurled on the chief minister's rath in Pipad, police said.
Earlier that day, a few miscreants pelted stones on Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf's vehicle near Khairwara town, breaking its rear windshield. Saraf told reporters on Monday that he holds Congress and its supporters responsible for the incident.
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Updated Date: Aug 27, 2018 19:33:32 IST