Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma reiterated on Wednesday that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi would be arrested after the Lok Sabha elections for his alleged involvement in violence during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in the state.
Sarma accused Gandhi and other Congress leaders of provocation, damage to public property, and assault on police personnel. The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, a Congress outreach program led by Gandhi, has faced opposition from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in Assam, resulting in demonstrations, vandalized posters, and disruptions to Gandhi’s convoy.
The Chief Minister directed the state police to register a case against Gandhi after Congress workers reportedly broke barricades while attempting to enter Guwahati on Tuesday. The police responded with batons to stop them, as the Congress had been denied permission to enter the city to avoid traffic disruption.
Sarma stated that a special investigation team had been formed to look into the matter and claimed, “We have evidence against him [Gandhi]. We will arrest him after the Lok Sabha polls because any action before the elections would invite unnecessary criticism.”
This isn’t the first time Sarma has made such a statement. On January 19, he mentioned that arrests would be made if the march entered Guwahati.
In response, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, accusing the Assam Police of failing to provide adequate security to Gandhi during the yatra. Kharge claimed that the police allowed BJP workers to breach security, endangering Gandhi’s safety.
Gandhi, on the other hand, accused Dhubri MP Badruddin Ajmal of colluding with Sarma and the BJP. He stated, “Whatever the Assam chief minister wants, Ajmal gets it done in a minute. He also helps your chief minister and the BJP. So, the Congress is not fighting the BJP alone in Assam. We are also fighting Ajmal, who heads the BJP’s B-team. We can neither compromise with the BJP nor with Ajmal.”