The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, was stopped from entering Guwahati on Tuesday, sparking protests among Congress workers. The incident led to Gandhi criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Addressing a gathering, Gandhi stated, “The Assam CM, the Union Home Minister, and the PM can break the rules, but we (Congress) would never do such a thing.” He added, “However, this doesn’t mean that we are weak. Congress workers are ‘Babbar Sher’.”
The police had set up barricades at two locations to prevent the Yatra from entering the city limits, leading to a clash with Congress workers who broke barricades and raised slogans. The police resorted to a lathi charge to control the situation.
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma had previously stated that the Yatra would not be allowed to enter the city to avoid traffic jams. The Congress, however, has accused the Assam government of creating unnecessary obstacles for their Yatra and lodging unwarranted police complaints.
On Tuesday, Gandhi alleged that his scheduled talk at a university was cancelled at the behest of Home Minister Amit Shah and the Assam CM. “The home minister of India called up the CM of Assam, and then the Assam CM’s office called up the leadership of your university and said that Rahul Gandhi must not be allowed to speak to the students,” he claimed.
Gandhi emphasised the importance of freedom of speech, stating, “It is important that you are allowed to listen to anybody you want to listen to. You are being told that you must blindly obey the RSS and the leadership of this country.”
The Yatra, which entered Meghalaya on Monday, returned to Assam for its last leg and will travel through the outskirts of Guwahati, the state’s largest city. The Yatra is expected to remain in Assam until Thursday.