Rahul Gandhi blames BJP for attack on his car in Gujarat, says Modi's silence was expected

Rahul Gandhi has reacted to the attack on his car in Gujarat on Friday. Talking to reporters, the Congress vice-president on Saturday said that a BJP worker flung stones at his convoy. He also said that the stone hit his PSO, according to a series of tweets by ANI.

Rahul Gandhi also said that this is the way the BJP-RSS government functions and they cannot be questioned. He also said that a lack of reaction from Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected.

The Congress vice-president later also tweeted, asking Congress leaders to focus on helping the people affected by floods in Gujarat.

Rahul Gandhi on Friday was forced to leave the stage in a huff after making a brief speech in Lal Chowk area of the town in Banaskantha district after protesters showed black flags to him. People gathered at the spot also raised slogans hailing Narendra Modi, according to a PTI report.

A cement brick was hurled at Gandhi's car by a man, suspected to be a BJP supporter, smashing a glass-pane at the rear end, during a tour of flood-hit Banaskantha district of
Gujarat, police had said in the report.

"We have detained the person who threw stones on the vehicle of Rahul Gandhi," Banaskantha superintendent of police Neeraj Badgujar had said.

Gandhi, however, escaped unhurt and proceeded to the next place on his itinerary — Runi village in Thara taluka — where he asserted he would not get cowed down by such protests, he added.

On Saturday, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, accompanied by leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma and AICC media in-charge Randeep Surjewala, strongly condemned the attack on Gandhi, saying such things cannot stop the Congress party or its vice president from meeting people and hearing their grievances.

"We strongly condemn the attack on Gandhi as it has also brought forward the real face of the BJP, which is known for doing this since independence," Azad was quoted as saying in a PTI wire.

He said the concrete boulder weighing 1.5 kg was aimed at Gandhi who was seated on the front seat with his window pane lowered and had it hit him on the head it could have proved fatal.

Azad said that with elections round the corner, it was the responsibility of the state and central government to ensure safety and security of SPG protectees as they are to be "most protected" under an act of Parliament.

"If it happens again, I think the people of the country will not tolerate this," he said.

Asked why Gandhi did not accept the bullet proof car provided by the state government, Azad, in the report, said that sometimes one has to use a non-bullet proof car and be sensitive to the public.

Kharge said, "What is happening is not good for the country and for the democracy. If people are in distress, meeting them is not an offence and giving this treatment to those who meet the people is not good."

Anand Sharma in the PTI report said, "What happened in Gujarat is unacceptable in any civilised society and democracy."

"It is also an exposure of the intent, ideology and character of the BJP and the RSS, which believes in violence, intimidation and physical assaults on political opponents and leaders," he claimed.

"The Congress has seen challenges, ups and downs, neither Rahul Gandhi or the Congress leaders can ever be intimidatedor suppressed and we will fight the BJP agenda and protect
democracy," he said.

Surjewala said the Congress party has demanded that a case of attempt to murder be registered after identifying four persons who have been named in the complaint.

"But the puppet police has not yet registered any case, even after our people standing on a dharna outside the police station there since last night. There is abject failure on the part of CM Vijay Rupani and his government," he said.

Noting that the Congress struggle will continue despite such violence, Surjewala said, "Will Godse-waad be converted into Modi-waad...both are the same as they promote violence, fear and give physical harm which has been continuing since 1948 and is continuing even in 2017.

"But Godse-waad did not succeed in 1948 and neither will Modi-waad... neither Gandhi nor the Congress will bow to their pressure."

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi had accused the BJP "goons" of carrying out the "dastardly" attack.

He had said that several cars in the convoy were damaged, their window panes smashed and an SPG man suffered minor injury.

"All this because, the Congress vice president went to a flood affected area," he was quoted as saying in the report.

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Updated Date: Aug 05, 2017 15:06:27 IST