NEW DELHI : Shoe-throwing journalists and the grand old party have a curious connection. In the second such high-profile attack on a Congress leader, a shoe missile narrowly missed Rahul Gandhi in Sitarpur, about 70 km from Lucknow, during his Kisan Yatra.
Just as Rahul was rolling up his sleeves to shake hands with the crowd gathered along the road, Hariom Sharma, who later claimed to a journalist with a local TV channel, hurled a shoe at him. It went past the Congress scion but hit Jitin Prasada’s hand. “The Congress has left the country in the dumps in the last 60 years,” he told mediapersons before being led away in a police van. “They talk of reducing the electricity bill by half and about a loan waiver. In the last 60 years they were in power they did not waive any loan.”
Rahul later reacted saying he was not afraid of "shoes or their anger".
BJP, RSS के लोग सोचते हैं हम जूते फेकेंगे और राहुल गांधी किसान की लड़ाई लड़ना बन्द कर देगा। मैं नहीं हटने वाला।— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) September 26, 2016
Rahul invoked Gautam Buddha to say he had “forgotten’’ about the shoe missile and that in exchange of hatred he would only spread “love and brotherhood’’. But before that he blamed the BJP and RSS for “inspiring” the hatred being hurled at him. BJP leader Anurag Thakur condemned the incident as an “cheap’’ stunt but advised Rahul not to blame everything on the BJP.
A youth has been arrested in this connection and taken to the Kotwali police station for interrogation. The shoe missed the Gandhi scion by a whisker and he looked back at the shoe as it zipped past him.
Congress leader Jitin Prasada was with Gandhi at the time of the attack. Special Protection Group (SPG) men swung into action and surrounded the Congress leader after the shoe attack.
Local hurls a shoe towards Congress VP Rahul Gandhi during his road show in Sitapur(UP),detained by police pic.twitter.com/oU3YsB3Fru— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 26, 2016
Mishra told policemen that he was angry at the promises being made by Rahul Gandhi during his road shows as he believed the Congress was behind the problems faced by farmers.
Gandhi started his 'Kisan Yatra' on Monday after a two-day break.
(With inputs from IANS)