National

Himanta-Rahul Showdown: An Arrest Threat, 'Who Teaches You Nonsense' Jibe From Assam CM To Gandhi

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have been at loggerheads since the latter's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra entered the state and allegedly deviated from its permitted route using "violence"

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L: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi | R: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma Photo: PTI and X/@himantabiswa
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma have been trading fire since former's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra entered the state on January 18.

Barriers have been broken by Congress workers to enter Guwahati, scuffles with police have taken place, FIR has been lodged against Rahul Gandhi and others since then as Assam government alleging that the party deviated from the permitted route for the yatra.

In the latest development in the spat between the two leaders, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Wednesday that Rahul Gandhi, against whom an FIR has been registered in Guwahati on the charge of instigating violence, will be arrested after the Lok Sabha elections.

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The Assam police suo motu registered the FIR against Gandhi and several other leaders for "wanton acts of violence" in Guwahati during the party's 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' on Tuesday, to which the Congress leader said the BJP-ruled Assam government could file "as many cases as it can", but he cannot be intimidated.

''We have filed an FIR. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) will conduct the investigation and he [Gandhi] will be arrested after the Lok Sabha elections'', Sarma said on the sidelines of a programme at Nazira in Sibsagar district.

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Himanta Attacks Rahul's 'Gamocha' Comment

On Wednesday, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma attacked Rahul Gandhi for his comments made during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, including one related to the 'Gamocha', (scarf or hand towel), a symbol of the culture and identity of the state.

In a series of tweets, CM Sarma shared video clippings of Gandhi's speeches at public rallies and made his own comments on the respective issue.  Showing the 'Gamocha' wrapped around his neck, Gandhi alleged that the ruling dispensation is insulting the pride of the state. 

The Congress MP said that a 'Gamocha' literally means a towel with 'Ga' meaning body and 'Mocha' meaning to wipe. "The BJP-RSS wants to wipe out the language, culture and history of Assam... We have come here to wipe the injustices of BJP from Assam," Rahul Gandhi had added.

''Rahul Baba, Assam's Gamocha is just not for wiping the body. It is a symbol of  Assam's self-respect. There are many types of Gamocha. In Assam's most important festival Bihu, it is offered as a Bihuan as a respect and also for honouring guests. It covers the seat where idols are placed and also worn during other festivals and other ceremonies'', Sarma said in a post on 'X' in Hindi.

Sarma said, ''Who teaches you this nonsense or do you deliberately say anything you wish to?''

In another post, Sarma also referred to Gandhi's comment about putting coal to light a stove for making tea. Sarma said, ''Coal on the stove? We were just getting over the idea of you making gold from potatoes when you put coal in the stove and left us confused. Are you conscious?''

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The BJP leader further slammed Gandhi in a post, saying that Rahul has ''set a new standard for being a darpok [coward]."

Rahul Says 'Not Scared Of Cases'

After Guwahati Police registered an FIR against him and other Congress leaders for allegedly provoking a crowd, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday dared the BJP-ruled state to file "as many cases" as it can, asserting that he will not be intimidated. 

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah on security issues faced by Rahul Gandhi during the Assam leg of the 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra', asking him to ensure his safety.

Addressing a public meeting on Wednesday in Barpeta district, Rahul Gandhi called Sarma the "most corrupt CM" of the country and made a series of allegations related to land and areca nut trade. "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, I am not going to be intimidated. BJP-RSS can't intimidate me," Rahul Gandhi added.

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