New Delhi: A local BJP leader was arrested on Saturday over an attack on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s convoy in Gujarat’s flood-hit Dhanera town a day earlier.
Jayesh Darji, the general secretary of the BJP’s youth wing in Banaskantha district, was taken into custody hours after Rahul Gandhi and the Congress blamed the BJP and the RSS for the attack.
“A BJP worker flung a big stone in my direction. It hit my PSO (Personal Security Officer). It’s the Modi, BJP and RSS way of doing politics. Why more can I say.... Why would they condemn it when they are behind it,” Gandhi said.
On Friday, the Congress leader had to cut short his address to a gathering at Lal Chowk area of Dhanera in Banaskantha district as black flags were waved at him by some of those who turned up for the meeting.
The glass pane at the rear of the car, in which Rahul was seated on his way to the helipad in Dhanera from Lal Chowk, was shattered in the attack, a police official said. However, Rahul did not suffer any injury and moved on to his next venue, Runi village in Thara taluka, where he said his party will not be cowed down by stone-pelting.
"Right from the helipad, police had offered him a bullet proof vehicle. After getting down from the helicopter, he took a bullet-proof vehicle. Later, he got down from that vehicle and took a car of a Congress party worker," PTI had quoted Banaskantha Superintendent of Police Neeraj Badgujar as saying.
"Police, convoy marshal, and SPG urged him repeatedly to take a bullet-proof car for sake of security, but he instead took the vehicle provided by the party," he further said.
"Police had provided all the security, but he (Rahul Gandhi) was repeatedly stopping the car, even at some sensitive places. He even met unknown people on the way," Badgujar said, indicating that he broke all security protocol.
The incident sparked immediate protest from the Congress with the party spokesman spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi in New Delhi saying BJP "goons" carried out the "dastardly" attack.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who is facing a tough fight in Rajya Sabha elections in the state, said he was “pained” at the development. "I have no words to express my anguish. It appears that administration and government has completely failed. This proves how bad the law and order situation is. Strong action should be taken against officers who are responsible to provide security, they should be suspended," said Patel.