Nagaon: Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of exerting pressure, on the Assam government to obstruct Rahul Gandhis visit to the birthplace of Vaishnav saint Srimant Sankardeva. Gandhi along with Congress leaders and supporters was stopped at Haiborgaon and subsequently staged a peaceful protest.
The managing committee of Sri Sankardeva Sattra had previously announced their decision not to allow Rahul Gandhi to visit the sattra before 3 pm on January 22. This decision came after Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during a press conference requested Gandhi to postpone his visit until after the consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
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Expressing concern about this situation Ramesh stated, "It is evident that certain powerful individuals want all the attention focused on them. Pressure was exerted on the Assam government to implement these restrictions." He further revealed that despite being granted permission for a visit on January 11 sudden restrictions were imposed on January 20 allowing the visit after the consecration of the Ram Temple.
Highlighting what he believes is an effort to prevent Gandhis visit Ramesh asserted, "Even when authorities mentioned law and order concerns, to Rahulji he offered to go alone. However this offer was also declined."Amid concerns, about maintaining law and order authorities have assured that only Rahul Gandhi will proceed to the Bardrava premises. Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi and local Congress MLA Sibamoni Bora have been granted permission to meet with the managing committee in order to address the issue and facilitate Gandhis visit.
Ramesh confirmed that Gandhi will continue his dharna until Gogoi and Bora return from the sattra. The managing committee proposed a visit after 3 pm. Ramesh questioned whether CM Himanta Biswa Sarma would suddenly disallow the visit due to concerns, over law and order.
"After resolving this matter the yatra will continue along its route " added Ramesh.
—Input from Agencies