Guwahati: As the 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' concluded in Assam an eight day journey unfolded with intense verbal clashes, accusations and legal actions between Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The 'Nyay Yatra,' a march for justice faced challenges as permissions for night stays in Jorhat and Dhemaji were abruptly canceled. Despite this setback the Congress party accused the BJP led Assam government of behavior and managed to secure private venues for their events.
The unfolding drama took place when Gandhi was denied entry to the birthplace of Vaishnav saint Srimanta Sankardeva in Nagaon district on the day as the Ram temple consecration ceremony. Gandhi wasted no time in labeling the Assam minister as 'the most corrupt CM of India' sparking a rapid exchange of accusations.
During meetings held in Sivasagar and Jorhat Gandhi accused Sarma and his family of engaging in widespread corruption stating that "His children, himself and his wife—all are involved in some corruption." In response Sarma branded the Gandhi family as "the corrupt”, in the country while questioning the credibility of their surname.
The following week was marked by a series of complaints lodged against Gandhi and other Congress leaders physical attacks on the Assam Congress chief incidents of violence targeting Yatra vehicles and vandalism of posters and billboards. The situation became more tense when a group chanting 'Jai Sri Ram' approached close to Rahul Gandhi.
On the day the police filed a complaint against the organizers of 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' for deviating from the approved route in Jorhat. As tensions mounted Congress workers were assaulted vehicles were. Yatra materials were destroyed in North Lakhimpur.
Additional incidents included an assault on Bhupen Kumar Borah, the Assam Congress Chief well as an attack on Jairam Rameshs car in Sonitpur district. Gandhis attempt to visit Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardevas birthplace faced resistance. Resulted in a clash between Congress workers and the police in Guwahati.
Despite breaching police barricades in Guwahati Gandhi emphasized the importance of adhering to the law. Continued along the approved route. Chief Minister Sarma described these actions as reminiscent of 'Naxalite' tactics leading to a complaint being filed against Gandhi and other leaders for their involvement, in acts of violence.
Sarma announced his intention to arrest those considered 'instigators after the Lok Sabha elections to prevent politicization of the issue. In a turn of events Gandhi accused AIUDF MP...Badruddin Ajmal was accused of being affiliated with the BJPs 'B team' during the conclusion of the Yatra in his constituency.
The chaotic events led Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge to write a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah claiming that the Assam Police played a role and requesting enhanced security for the Yatra.
Starting in Manipur on January 14th the 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' will cover a distance of 6,713 km over 67 days passing through 110 districts, in 15 states before culminating in Mumbai on March 20th. The Assam segment of this journey, which spans across 17 districts and covers a distance of 833 km concluded on Thursday.
—Input from Agencies