C Times, 5 August 2017, Agartala
As Gujarat Congress workers continued to protest outside the BJP headquarters in the state against the attack on Rahul Gandhi’s convoy, the party vice-president asked leaders and workers to shift their attention towards helping flood-affected people.
In a tweet on Saturday, the Congress leader said he respects the sentiments of his party workers. He wrote, “Respect the sentiments of Congress workers in Gujarat protesting against the administration not filing a FIR against the stone pelting but I urge them to divert their energy in helping the people affected by floods in the state”.
His remarks came a day after Gandhi’s car, in which he was travelling to visit the flood-affected areas in Banaskantha district of Gujarat, was hit by stones on Friday afternoon. While no one was injured in the attack, the left rear window of the car was damaged.
While Gujarat BJP termed the incident as a “political gimmick”, the Congress alleged it was carried out by BJP workers. The Banaskanth police have arrested local BJP leader Jayesh Darji after the Congress accused him of involvement in the attack.
On being asked why PM Modi has given no statement condemning the attack, Gandhi said, “How can one, who has involved himself, condemn? It is a way of Modi Ji’s and BJP-RSS politics, what can one say?”
He also posted a tweet on Friday saying he will not be deterred by the incident. “Narendra Modi Ji’s slogans, black flags and stones will not stop us. We will put in all our might into the service of people”, he wrote on Twitter.
A leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “The attack on Rahul Gandhi was done by the BJP-RSS people under a pre-planned conspiracy. It is a murderous attack by the BJP and the RSS on the Congress vice president”.
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot said, “What sort of politics is the BJP government practising? Allowing such attack on Rahul Gandhi’s vehicle. This must be condemned in the strongest terms”.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “Political violence has no place in a functioning democracy”.
Tripura Pradesh Congress condemned the attack on Congress VP Rahul Gandhi. They burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
CLP leader Gopal Roy also strongly condemned the ‘barbaric’ attack on Rahul Gandhi and demanded Prime Minister’s apology. He said the attack was an attempt to throttle democracy.