Shoe hurled at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in UP's Sitapur

Rahul Gandhi termed the shoe attack incident as an effort by RSS and BJP to derail the Deoria to Delhi Kisan Yatra.

Shoe hurled at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in UP

The start of RaGa's second leg of Deoria to Delhi Kisan Yatra, saw a shoe being hurled at the Congress vice-president during a road show in Sitapur on Monday afternoon.

 Thousands of people thronged Sitapur to welcome the Congress leader. Rahul Gandhi, riding on top of an open vehicle, was targeted by a leather missile but looked away after the object missed him. The incident could not stop Rahul's road show.

 Reacting to the incident, Rahul termed it as an effort by RSS and BJP to derail the Yatra. "I am not afraid of RSS and BJP. Even if they indulge in hurling shoes at me, I will not go back. Love and brotherhood are with me and all hate is with you," he asserted.

Later, Additional SP of Sitapur OP Singh told the media that the youth threw the shoe was taken into custody by the police. The detenu was identified as Hariom Mishra of Hargaon. Two of his accomplices, identified as Ashish Nishad and Anuj Saxena, were absconding after the incident. A FIR was registered at Kotwali police station and Mishra was quizzed there.

 Speaking to the media, accused Hariom Mishra claimed himself to be a local TV journalist and said that he protested as the ongoing Congress Yatra was merely a drama and the party always ignored farmers during its 60-year-long regime at the Centre.

 Refusing to admit his mistake, Mishra alleged that Rahul had no time to express condolence for the martyrs and the previous UPA government too had never cared to counter terrorism in the country. "Had I not been arrested, I would have thrown a second shoe at him," he stated.

 Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not meeting the farmers and the poor and only interacting with them in a one-sided manner through 'Mann-ki-Baat'.

"Is the PM afraid to meet the farmers at their houses ? Why does the PM want to talk to the farmers from 2,000 km away through the net ? People are not interested in the PM's Mann-ki-Baat till he hears the people's Mann ki Baat. We want that the PM should visit the farmers to know their problems," he said.

"Why is Modiji a PM when you do not want to meet people and know their problems. He must know the plight of the labourers, farmers, youths and poor from them, but he is afraid to meet them," the Congress leader charged.

Citing an example, Rahul said, "I am meeting Anganbari workers during my yatra today. But Modiji would only talk to a handful of Anganbari workers through the net. The response has to be different in both cases."

 Interestingly, Rahul also trained his gun at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for not supporting the secular front of Nitish, Laloo and Congress in Bihar polls.

 "When Congress allied with Nitish and Laloo allied ahead of the Bihar polls, Mulayam did not join the war against the BJP," he stated giving a veiled signal that he was not in favour of a Bihar-like formula especially with the SP or the BSP, as the two have time and again joined hands with the BJP to defeat the Congress.

 The Congress vice-president said that Congress is committed to fighting against the BJP. "We will form a government for the poor, the farmers and the labourers in UP and in the country," he stated.

 On Monday morning, Rahul reached Lucknow from New Delhi by a commercial flight to commence the second leg of the Yatra after a two-day break. On its 17th day, the Yatra will witness a road show in Sitapur and a Khat Sabha in Lakhimpur Kheri district, with Rahul halting for the night at a guest house in Kheri. The Yatra will conclude in Meerut on October 4.