BJP, Congress workers clash as Rahul Gandhi arrives in Amethi
Lucknow: Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters on Monday clashed as Congress chief Rahul Gandhi arrived in his parliamentary constituency of Amethi -- his first visit after taking over the party reins.
Both sides fought a pitched battle at the Sagra tri-section as district officials and local police had a tough time in handling the situation.
Legislative Council member Deepak Singh had a verbal tiff with Additional Superintendent of Police Shashi Shekhar after he accused police of siding with and patronising lumpen elements belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Thereafter, overzealous Congress workers chased away BJP supporters and allegedly hit them with sticks even as Rahul Gandhi looked on.
An angry Dal Bahadur Kori, BJP's legislator from Salon, threatened to petition the Chief Minister against the police after the attack on BJP workers.
Rahul Gandhi later met party workers and addressed them at Salon in Rae Bareli, where he targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused him of rendering lip service to eradication of poverty and said the governments in both Uttar Pradesh and at the Centre were working for the welfare of rich industrialists.
He blamed the Prime Minister for the incomplete projects and instigating people on religious and caste lines.
The Congress leader said they will ensure that the food park sanctioned during the earlier United Progressive Alliance government will be established in Amethi, despite resistance from the BJP.
The Gandhi family scion also performed 'khichdi puja' at Salon Nagar Panchayat office even as local traders raised slogans against him outside.
Amid the melee, the Congress President left for Amethi. He was greeted with flowers at many places on the way with many party workers trying to touch him and raising slogans in his favour.
He will stay at Munshiganj guesthouse at night and meet party workers again on Tuesday, a local Congress leader said.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi received a warm welcome in Rae Bareli while on way to Amethi.
The Congress had tweeted pictures of Rahul Gandhi's welcome and interaction with people over tea at a 'dhaba'. He was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Congress President Raj Babbar.
With IANS inputs