Himanta Sarma’s Case Warning To Rahul Gandhi After Face-Off During Yatra

Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra: Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra is now moving through Northeast


Chaotic scenes played out at Guwahati limits this afternoon as about 5,000 Congress workers tried to enter the city to continue the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. A huge contingent of state police blocked the Congress rally from hitting Guwahati roads. Barricades were thrown off as the cops and Congress workers clashed on the streets.  

The Himanta Biswa Sarma government in Assam had earlier denied permission to the Yatra to move through arterial roads in Guwahati. Arguing that it is a working day in Guwahati and allowing the yatra to move through key city roads may lead to traffic snarls, the state administration had asked the rally to take the national highway route as it moves towards lower Assam. Congress workers were asked to take the National Highway 27 that acts like a ring road around the city.

Speaking at the Guwahati city limits, Mr Gandhi said, “This is the same route Bajrang Dal walked, (BJP chief JP) Nadda ji’s rally was also taken on the same place. There was a barricade, we threw the barricade, but we will not break the law. Don’t think we are weak, it’s the power of Congress workers.”

The people of Assam, he said, are being suppressed. “My student interaction (in Meghalaya) was cancelled, the authorities were told not to allow students to meet me. Despite that, they came to meet me outside.”

“My message is Congress workers aren’t afraid of BJP- RSS, we’ll defeat them in Assam. I know the officers are being told to do their duty, but there should be justice. We are not here to fight you, we love you. We are here to fight the most corrupt CM Himanta (Biswa Sarma) of Assam,” he said.

The Congress workers part of the march alleged that the state administration denied entry into the city on frivolous grounds. This comes amid the ongoing spat between Congress and the BJP government in Assam. The Congress has alleged that the Himanta Biswa Sarma government is creating hurdles in the yatra led by Mr Gandhi. “Since our entry in Assam, the most corrupt CM in India has been carrying out relentless attacks on our convoys, properties and leaders using his goons,” it has said.

Responding to the face-off today, Mr Sarma said Assam is a peaceful state and such “naxalite tactics” are alien to its culture. “I have instructed DGP, Assam Police, to register a case against your leader Rahul Gandhi for provoking the crowd and use the footage you have posted on your handles as the evidence. Your unruly behaviour and violation of agreed guidelines have resulted in a massive traffic jam in Guwahati now,” he said in response to a Congress post on X.

Assam Police have said that the Congress workers broke some of the barricades and this led to injuries to cops and the public. Appropriate action is being taken in the matter, police have said. 

Today’s face-off near the Guwahati city limits followed dramatic scenes yesterday, when Mr Gandhi was barred from visiting the shrine of a 15th century social reformer. Mr Gandhi had planned to visit the birthplace of Vaishnav saint Srimanta Sankardeva near Guwahati. Soon after the plan was announced, Chief Minister Sarma urged Mr Gandhi not to visit the shrine before the Ram Mandir ‘pran pratistha’ ceremony in Ayodhya ends.

“I urge Rahul Gandhi to not create a notion that there is a competition between Ram Temple and Batadrava Satra because the TV channels will be flashing Ram Temple Pran Pratishtha ceremony on one side and him visiting Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva’s birthplace on the other side. This won’t be good for Assam.” Mr Sarma had said.

The shrine’s managing committee, too, had said Mr Gandhi will not be allowed to enter before 3 pm.

The Congress leader and his associates were stopped on their way to the shrine. Thereafter, they sat on a dharna at the site of the roadblock. Party MP Gaurav Gogoi and Batadrava MLA Sibamoni Bora proceeded to the shrine and offered prayers.

Speaking to the media later, Mr Gandhi said he believes in the philosophy of Sankardeva. “We, like him, believe in bringing people together and not spreading hatred. He is like a guru to us and gives us direction. So I had thought when I came to Assam, I should offer my respects to him,” he said. ‘Gaurav Gogoi and all can go, but only Rahul Gandhi cannot go. I don’t know, there may be some reason, but I will go to Batadrava when I get an opportunity,” he added.

The Congress alleged that the shrine’s managing committee had earlier agreed to Mr Gandhi’s visit but later changed its position. 

Mr Gandhi’s yatra also faced roadblocks in Meghalaya. An interaction between the Congress leader and students at a university in Meghalaya was cancelled after the local authorities denied permission. Mr Gandhi later addressed students from atop the yatra truck near the Assam-Meghalaya border. During his address, he alleged that his interaction with the students at the university was cancelled on the instructions of the Union Home Minister. 

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