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Rahul Gandhi Unhurt as Stage Collapses

Rahul Gandhi Unhurt as Stage Collapses

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NEW DELHI, May 27: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had a close shave when a portion of the dais set up for one of his election rallies in Bihar collapsed on Monday.

Mr Gandhi was at Paliganj, on the outskirts of the state capital Patna, to canvass for RJD president Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti, who is contesting the Patliputra Lok Sabha seat. Ms Bharti was leading Mr Gandhi towards his seat when he was seen struggling for balance as a portion of the make-shift stage sagged.

An alert Ms Bharti quickly held Mr Gandhi by the hand, helping him regain his balance and they smilingly told anxious security personnel, who ran to help, that the Congress leader was fine.

Meanwhile, the ostensible support for Mr Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from a Pakistani leader drew a sharp response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said it was a “very serious matter and calls for an investigation.” In an interview, he, however, added, “I don’t think I should comment on such topics from the position I am in, but I can understand your concern.”

Over the weekend, as Delhi voted, former Pakistan minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain — who recently shared a video of Rahul Gandhi and praised him — found an opportunity to praise Arvind Kejriwal also, only to be met with a rebuff. Asked about the matter, Mr Modi said, “I don’t know why only a few people are liked by those who have enmity with us, why there are only a few people in whose support voices are raised from there.”

“The election is of India and India’s democracy is very mature, has healthy traditions and the voters of India are also not the voters who are influenced by any outside activities,” he said. Mr Chaudhry, a minister in former Imran Khan cabinet, had earlier given a thumbs up when Mr Kejriwal got interim bail from the Supreme Court.  “Modi G Lost another battle #Kejriwal released… good news for moderate India,” he said in a post on X.

His next post was to a photo of Mr Kejriwal and his family at the polling booth. After the Chief Minister posted the photo, Mr Chaudhry commented, “May peace and harmony defeat forces of hate and extremism #MorePower #IndiaElection2024”.

Mr Kejriwal had reacted sharply. “Chaudhry Sahib, I and the people of my country are capable of solving our own problems. We don’t need your tweet. Right now, Pakistan is in a terrible state. You handle your own country,” his post read. Earlier, Mr Chaudhry’s support for Rahul Gandhi had triggered a political storm, with various BJP leaders including Union minister Rajnath Singh, ripping into the Congress.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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