Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday hit out at the Congress, saying that the governments led by the party in Gujarat had put a ban on taking out the annual Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra procession thrice in the past, which showed that they were not capable of protecting the people. Shah said curfews during the Rath Yatra are a thing of the past as no one dares to play any mischief during Rath Yatra after BJP came to power nearly 27 years ago.
"Today, we are witnessing the 145th edition of the annual Rath Yatra (in Ahmedabad). During the Congress rule (prior to 1995), people used to live in fear thinking that something untoward would happen during Rath Yatra. And their fear was legitimate because riots had happened during the Rath Yatra with miscreants even trying to snatch away the chariots on two occasions," he said.
He was addressing a gathering at Rupal village in Gandhinagar district after launching a host of projects, including the beautification of lakes in Rupal and Vasan villages of Gandhinagar district. "But things changed after the people of Gujarat gave the reins to BJP instead of Congress. Now, nobody even dares to play any mischief during the Rath Yatra. When I was young, I had witnessed how Congress had put a ban on taking out the processions thrice as if they are admitting that they are not capable enough to protect Lord Jagannath," said Shah, the Lok Sabha member from Gandhinagar.
He added that Rath Yatra is now taken out with the full cooperation of the BJP government in the state. Early on Friday, Shah performed 'Mangla Aarti' at Lord Jagannath temple in the Jamalpur area of the city before the commencement of the procession in the morning.
Before coming to Rupal, Shah visited Kalol town in Gandhinagar where he performed the ground-breaking ceremony of a multi-specialty hospital and inaugurated the office block of Swaminarayan University.