Rahul addresses party workers in Gujarat, says BJP will face Ayodhya like defeat in the state

Referring to the attack on Congress headquarters by BJP's youth wing members, Rahul Gandhi said that the party will break the BJP government like how they damaged the Congress office.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a party workers convention, in Ahmedabad, Saturday, July 6, 2024.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a party workers convention, in Ahmedabad, Saturday, July 6, 2024.(Photo | PTI)

AHMEDABAD: During his one-day visit to Gujarat, Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi, issued a bold challenge to the BJP by declaring that the saffron party will face an Ayodhya like defeat in the state.

Addressing party workers at the Congress office in Ahmedabad, Rahul Gandhi said, "Every worker of the Congress will fight and defeat the BJP in Gujarat. The brave 'Babbar Sher' workers and leaders of the Congress will overcome the BJP. Did anyone think before the election that the BJP would lose in Ayodhya? Just as they lost in Ayodhya, they will also lose in Gujarat. If the people of Gujarat stand without fear, the BJP will be defeated.

Rahul Gandhi declared that Congress will secure victory in Gujarat and a new movement will emerge from the state.

Referring to the BJP worker's attack on the Congress office, he said, "They stormed into our office, demolished it, and issued us a challenge. Now, we are determined to defeat them in Gujarat."

"As they tore down our office, we will dismantle their government," Gandhi added.

He was referring to the attack on the Congress's state headquarters in Paldi area of Ahmedabad on the night of July 1 when VHP and Bajrang Dal workers defaced Gandhis posters and assaulted people including the pregnant daughter of the watchman guarding the office building. The incident fueled up into a clash between the BJP and Congress workers the next day when the former returned to protest at the office.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a party workers convention, in Ahmedabad, Saturday, July 6, 2024.
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According to police, both sides engaged in stone-pelting, in which five policemen, including an Assistant Commissioner of Police, were injured.

Pointing out that Gujarat is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and where the core values of the Congress party originated from Rahul Gandhi advised the party workers to stay strong.

"Don't be afraid and don't be intimidated... we will teach them a lesson," he said.

However, Rahul Gandhi also pointed out some shortcomings within the Gujarat Congress and urged the party workers to work diligently in the future.

"I do have one complaint. It's not accurate to say there are no problems within the Gujarat Congress. A worker once told me, 'Rahulji, there are two kinds of horses in the Gujarat Congress: racehorses and wedding horses. Sometimes, the Congress makes the wedding horses race and the racehorses dance at weddings,'" he said.

"The worker suggested we put a stop to this. We need to address this and must ensure that the racehorses are made to run in races and the wedding horses to dance in marriage processions. This needs to be taken seriously," Gandhi said.

Speaking further, the former Congress chief said that BJP's defeat in Ayodhya was inevitable.

"Land was taken from people to build a temple, and their shops and houses were bulldozed. To this day, they have not received compensation," Gandhi said.

"Farmers' land was taken for building Ayodhya's international airport.. which again was not compensated. There is huge outrage among the people of Ayodhya. Not a single person from Ayodhya was present at the inauguration of the Ram temple," he added.

"The movement started by Advaniji, with Ayodhya as its center, has been defeated by the INDIA coalition," Gandhi claimed.

Meanwhile, five Congress workers arrested on a complaint filed by BJP's young wing regarding the clash that broke out on July 2, whom Rahul Gandhi was scheduled to meet at the Vasna police station today have been shifted to Sabarmati central jail.

According to Vasna police station inspector Rahul Patel, the five were produced in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate BG Rathod today morning as their police remand period was to end today.

However, Congress MLA Imran Khedawala pointed out that the remand period was to end at only 4 pm and the police rushed the procedure.

The party's legal cell approached Sabarmati central jail and sought permission for Gandhi to meet these five workers but it is unlikely to be processed on such short notice, Khedawala said.

"Even if Rahul Gandhi is not able to meet the jailed party workers, he will surely meet their family members," Khedawala told reporters.

Police has registered cross FIRs on the complaints of both the groups involved in the clash. One FIR was against nearly 450 workers of the Congress and BJP, while another was on a complaint of the BJP's youth wing, leading to the arrest of these five.

During his Ahmedabad visit, Gandhi is also scheduled to meet kin of victims of the Rajkot gaming zone fire, Vadodara boat capsize and Morbi bridge collapse incidents, as per Congress office-bearers.

(With inputs from PTI)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a party workers convention, in Ahmedabad, Saturday, July 6, 2024.
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