NEW DELHI, Jan 24: Even as the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday dared the Assam chief minister to file “as many cases as they can,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said he would ensure Mr Gandhi’s arrest but after the Lok Sabha elections to avoid being blamed for the “political move.”
A day after Guwahati Police filed a case against him and other Congress leaders for allegedly provoking crowd, Rahul Gandhi dared the BJP-ruled state to file “as many cases as they can” and asserted that he would still not be intimidated.
Addressing his first public meeting on the 7th day of his “Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra” in Barpeta district on Wednesday, Mr Gandhi slammed the Assam Chief Minister to be the “most corrupt CM” of the country with a series of allegations related to land and other issues.
In Retaliation, Mr Sarma said he would ensure the arrest Mr Gandhi but after the Lok Sabha Election. “If we take action now, they will call it as political move,” he said a day after a police case was filed against the senior Congress leader, who is currently leading the Yatra through Assam.
Listing the key temples that Rahul Gandhi has not visited on his journey — including the famous Kamakshya Temple — Mr Sarma said the Congress’s only goal is to start a row. “The whole intention of the Yatra was to disturb Assam and jeopardise the peace in Assam. We defeated this attention seeker of his motive and now let him do whatever he wants to do beyond Dhuburi,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.
“We will form a Special Investigation Team which will investigate the case and we shall arrest him after the Lok Sabha elections are over. If we take action now, they will call it as political move,” he said. “We have proof. Yesterday a major incident could have happened in Guwahati, the way he provoked people,” Mr Sarma added.
The Congress has claimed that its Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra was attacked twice by BJP goons in Assam on Monday – shortly after the Chief Minister warned Mr Gandhi to stay away from state capital Guwahati, citing the programmes associated with the Ram temple consecration ceremony.
Early that morning, Mr Gandhi was barred from entering a temple. He ended the day with a sit-down protest as the police did not allow his march to proceed. The Congress leader had passed the time with an impromptu public meeting, where he ripped into the Chief Minister and his party. Mr Gandhi had also scoffed after a police case was filed against him yesterday.
“I don’t know how Himanta Biswa Sarma got the idea that he can intimidate me by filing cases. File as many cases as you can. File 25 more cases, you can’t intimidate me. BJP-RSS can’t intimidate me,” he added.
He claimed that Mr Sarma – whom he has dubbed the “most corrupt Chief Minister of the country” – was involved in large scale irregularities. “While he (Mr Sarma) speaks to you, he steals your land. While you chew betel nut, he corners the supari business. He has taken land in Kaziranga National Park also”, Mr Gandhi said.
The Guwahati Police had suo motu registered an FIR against Mr Gandhi and other leaders on Tuesday for wanton acts of violence in the state capital. “The BJP-RSS wants to wipe out the language, culture, and history of Assam. They want to run Assam from Nagpur, but we will not allow it. Assam will be run from Assam only,” Mr Gandhi said. He also alleged that the hearts of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Mr Sarma were “filled with hatred.”