In the midst of the intensifying Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, which the Congress party is currently organising in Assam, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has instructed the state police to initiate legal action against Rahul Gandhi on the grounds that he is ‘flaming the mob’.
Authorities tried to stop some 5000 Congress workers, including Rahul Gandhi, when they tried to enter Guwahati on Tuesday. After the party resumed its main demonstration, there was a clash that resulted in conflicts between law enforcement and congressional staff. Lathi-charges were used by law enforcement to break up the crowd.
Due to possible traffic delays on a working day, the Assam government, led by Himanta Biswa Sarma, had earlier refused permission for the Yatra to pass through important Guwahati roadways. Rather, they directed the demonstration to proceed towards lower Assam by way of the national highway. Employees of Congress were instructed to use National Highway 27, which is around the city.
Rahul Gandhi, addressing party members on the outskirts of the city, highlighted their commitment to non-violence despite breaking barricades.
Gandhi said, “This is the same route Bajrang Dal walked, (BJP chief JP) Nadda ji’s rally was also taken at 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”.
आज असम में जिस रास्ते से ‘भारत जोड़ो न्याय यात्रा’ निकलनी है।
इसी रास्ते से बजरंग दल और जेपी नड्डा की रैली निकली लेकिन हमारी पदयात्रा को रोक दिया गया है।
कांग्रेस के कार्यकर्ताओं ने रास्ते पर लगे बैरिकेड हटा दिए हैं। इसलिए ये मत सोचिए कि कांग्रेस का कार्यकर्ता कमजोर है।… pic.twitter.com/qMx4r9S0gF
— Assam Congress (@INCAssam) January 23, 2024
In response to the incident, Chief Minister Sarma accused Rahul Gandhi and Congress cadres of “unruly behaviour” and employing “naxalite tactics”. Taking to Twitter, he stated, “These are not part of Assamese culture. We are a peaceful state. Such ‘naxalite tactics’ are completely alien to our culture”. He announced that he has instructed Assam Police to register a case against Rahul Gandhi for allegedly provoking the crowd, citing social media footage as evidence.
Both sides are giving their viewpoints of the occurrence, and the atmosphere is still tense as political tensions rise in the wake of the clashes.
These are not part of Assamese culture. We are a peaceful state. Such “naxalite tactics” are completely alien to our culture.
I have instructed @DGPAssamPolice to register a case against your leader @RahulGandhi for provoking the crowd & use the footage you have posted on your… https://t.co/G84Qhjpd8h
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) January 23, 2024