JABALPUR: Attempts by over-enthusiastic Congress supporters to perform the Arti of the party’s national president Rahul Gandhi during Saturday evening’s crowded road-show in Jabalpur town of poll-bound Madhya Pradesh went awry – triggering a blaze of split seconds, just around 12-15 ft from vehicle boarded by Gandhi.
The sudden incident which was smartly tackled by the alert SPG and state police personnel happened when the road-show was passing through the Model Road locality. A group of Congress workers led by local leader Kaudilal Rai (a strong contender for party ticket from Bargi assembly seat of Jabalpur district) lit a multi-tiered stand to perform Gandhi’s arti from behind the security rope, cordoning off the road.
With a bunch of tri-coloured balloons flying just over the Arti stand, the balloons exploded after coming in contact with the flames of the Arti stand, triggering sudden burst of fire for split seconds.
Alert SPG and state police personnel deployed on duty, however, ensured that there wasn’t any untoward incident owing to it, as the road-show progressed ahead.
When contacted in the matter by The New Indian Express on Sunday, the SP of Jabalpur district Amit Singh, while denying any security lapse said the incident didn’t cause any panic or security scare, as the road-show went ahead without any disturbance.
“The sudden and split second incident happened behind the rope distancing the crowd from the motorcade. Those who lit the arti or were flying balloons over it were all Congress supporters. Nowhere is it mentioned in the Blue Book that crowd of workers cannot carry balloons or perform arti. Also, there wasn’t any panic or security scare and lathi charge after the incident,” said Singh.
According to key sources in Jabalpur police, the Jabalpur district Congress president Dinesh Yadav has been served notice by the district police over the episode.
Yadav had already signed on the Advanced Security Liason (ASL) report without informing the police and SPG at the advanced security meeting about any such planned arti of Gandhi by party workers during the road-show.