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Shoe hurled at Rahul Gandhi, he takes aim at BJP

Rahul was riding in an open-top vehicle through Transport Nagar crossing when the shoe came flying at him.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
September 27, 2016 12:50:13 am
rahul gandhi, rahul gandhi shoe attack, shoe attack, uttar pradesh elections, congress campaign, sitapur roadshow, rahulgandhi sitapur, hari om  mishra booked, bjp, congress, deoria to dilli kisan yatra, rahul kisan yatra, rahuil blame bjp, indian express news, india news, rahul gandhi news Police arrest the youth who hurled shoe at Rahul Gandhi during his road show, in Sitapur on Monday. PTI photo

A SHOE was hurled at Rahul Gandhi on Monday by a man during his roadshow in Sitapur city — 85 km from Lucknow — prompting the Congress vice-president to blame the BJP and the RSS for the incident.

While the shoe did not hit Rahul, Hari Om Mishra (26), who claimed to be a journalist, was arrested and booked under sections 352 (punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the IPC.

Rahul was riding in an open-top vehicle through Transport Nagar crossing when the shoe came flying at him. An unfazed Rahul, an SPG protectee, continued with his ongoing ‘Deoria to Dilli Kisan Yatra’.

Targeting BJP and RSS for the incident, Rahul said he was “not afraid” of such things. “Jitne joote phekna chahte ho phenko mere oopar. Maine jo kaam karna hai karunga. Darne wala nahi (You can hurl as many shoes at me as you want. I would continue to do the work that I have to do. I would not be afraid)”, he said.

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“There are RSS and BJP people between you. They have anger in them, because of which they are throwing shoes at me. But I am not angry… Your anger does not affect me. You can have as much anger as you want but it would not break me,” he told the crowd.

“Apki jo vichardhara hai… BJP aur RSS ki.. Ek baat samajh lo isse main darta nahi hun (Let me remind you that I am not afraid of the ideology that BJP and RSS follows… ),” Rahul added.

Hari Om Mishra said he was angry as Rahul was taking part in a roadshow, instead of paying tributes to the Uri martyrs. Maintaining that he had no regrets for his act, Mishra said Rahul was showing concern for the people when he could have worked for ameliorating their lot when his party was in power.

“The Congress has left the country down in the dumps in the last 60 years. I have been a journalist for two years and I know. What were they doing when they were in power?” he said, while being whisked away in a police van.

According to an eyewitness, Mishra, a resident of Shastri Nagar locality, was heard saying, “The roadshow is useless.”

When contacted, Sitapur ASP O P Singh said: “The accused claims that he works with a local news channel and also runs a newspaper. We are yet to verify his claims… He said he was unhappy with the yatra and felt that Congress has not done anything in the last 60 years for upliftment of journalists.” City Kotwali police SHO Deepak Shukla said Mishra will be produced before the court on Tuesday.

In New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said: “If anybody in the BJP, the RSS or so-called allied organisations think that they can deter, slow down, scare or in any manner affect a person like Rahul Gandhi or the Congress by such cheap, gutter level tactics, then let me tell them very clearly that none of us, least of all Rahul Gandhi, is going to be deterred by it.”

“These are cheap, set up, purchased tactics because real fear and frustration has been borne by the extremely successful yatra of the vice president of the Congress party in different parts of UP… I think that has what has led to this frustration, this confusion in the minds of the BJP in particular. Let them keep trying, our success will only grow,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Rahul again targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Today, the PM said he will speak to farmers through Internet. The distance between Modi ji and farmers will be at least 2,000 km. Is Modi ji afraid of hugging farmers? Otherwise, what is the meaning of interacting through the Internet?” he asked.

He added: “If the PM is not ready to personally meet the people and is nafraid of touching their sweat or hugging them, to aap kis baat ke pradhan mantri (what kind of a PM are you)?”

Later in the day, Rahul addressed a khaat sabha in Lakhimpur Kheri, where he stayed the night. On Tuesday, he will cover Lakhimpur Kheri, Shahjahanpur and Pilibhit and is expected to spend the night in Bareilly.

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