New Delhi: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was released on personal bond late on Wednesday night, a couple of hours after being arrested by Uttar Pradesh police. He reached Delhi late on Wednesday night.
The Congress General Secretary is now back in Delhi. He was held at the Kasna jail along with Digvijaya Singh, Rita Bahuguna, Raj Babbar, Parvez Hashmi and other Congress leaders. Rahul was released on a bond but not before the Congress taking potshots at the UP Chief Minister Mayawati.
Rahul Gandhi had said, "I will keep fighting for you all."
Initially the police strategy was to take Rahul Gandhi to Delhi-UP border and release him there but instead he was brought to the Kasna jail with all top Congress leaders.
Giving Rahul company in this battle of nerves was Digvijay Singh. Almost as soon as news of Rahul's arrest spread, the entire Congress leadership from UP rushed to be by his side. Union ministers Jitin Prasad and RPN Singh quickly dashing to the police station where Rahul was taken by the cops in Greater Noida.
The reason why Mayawati had to resort to this last step will be debated for long. Afterall her move of ordering Rahul's arrest is bound to energise the Congress workers on the ground in UP.
UP Cabinet secretary Shashashank Shekhar Singh said, "Its our request that opposition parties don't politicise the issue."
UP is Rahul Gandhi's political karmabhoomi. The agitation and the intent that he has shown in Greater Noida is bound to act as a huge boost to the morale of the grand old party in a state where its desperately looking for a magical formula.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had been arrested under Sec 151 CrPC at Bhatta Parsaul after he joined farmers' agitation against land acquisition.
"Rahul Gandhi has been arrested under Sec 151 CrPC and will be presented before a Sub-Divisional Magistrate on Thursday," Inspector General of Police (Meerut Range) Rajnikant Mishra said.
Gandhi was taken away from the dharna site in Bhatta Parsaul Village in a grey Tata Safari to an undisclosed location.
The Amethi MP smiled to the large battery of media before getting into the vehicle along with AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh and Firozabad MP Raj Babbar.
"We will continue to support the farmers agitation," Singh said as he was pushed into the vehicle.
Rita Bahuguna Joshi was also taken into preventive custody.
"BSP government is undemocratic and corrupt. Rahul Gandhi will continue to take up issues of the farmers. Nobody has any clue where Rahul Gandhi has been taken," said Rita Bahuguna Joshi speaking to CNN-IBN.
Congress promptly attacked Mayawati for Gandhi's arrest with AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi saying UP has witnessed "the cruellest rule of several imperialistic regimes".
"UP government's action in arresting Rahul Gandhi proves that Mayawati is digging her own grave," Dwivedi said.
"If any sense of justice is left in the government, judicial inquiry is the minimum that the state government should order immediately," he said.
"This is a most unfortunate and shocking incident. This is not the way to tackle the situation," Law Minister Veerappa Moily said while speaking to CNN-IBN.
Mayawati cracks the whip
"It is up to the central govt to amend the Land Acquisition Act. There is no violence in Bhatta Parsaul. Anti social elements are trying to disrupt law and order in Bhatta Parsaul. Section 144 was in force till yesterday ie 10th but was lifted in Bhatta Parsaul. Congress party workers are arrested under section 151 CrPc and will be dropped near the borders," said Shashank Shekhar Singh, UP Cabinet Secretary while speaking to CNN-IBN.
I feel ashamed to call myself Indian: Rahul
Earlier, sneaking into Batta Parsaul village - the epicentre of the agitation in Western Uttar Pradesh - in the wee hours riding pillion on a motorcyle, Gandhi sat with the agitating farmers throughout the day in scorching heat to emphathise with their cause and women who lost their men.
"I feel ashamed to call myself Indian after seeing what has happened here. The (state) government here has unleashed atrocities on its own people," he told the farmers.
Even as he sat on a dharna, a war of words erupted, with BJP terming it as a "drama" and wanting to know why the UPA government was still not acting on his earlier promise of bringing Land Acquisition Bill in Parliament.
The Congress, on its part, said it was keen to get on early passage of the bill in Parliament.
Gandhi said he associated with them as they were demanding their "right" and there was "nothing wrong" in it.
"I want to tell you that I am with you till your demands are met. Till your work is not done, the Congress party will not desert you," he said to a thunderous applause from the gathering which shouted slogans hailing him.
He said an official had told him that the agitation was like "naxalism" but he had found that the farmers were peacefully making their demands.
Gandhi demanded a judicial inquiry into the exchange of fire on Saturday last between farmers and police in which two farmers and two policemen were killed.
After reaching the village at 4 am along with party colleague Digvijay Singh, he heard the farmers and had tea with them. He also visited various hamlets.