Embarrassment for Congress - chaos after Rahul Gandhi's 'Khaat Sabha', locals flee with cots
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused PM Narendra Modi of ignoring farmers due to his bias towards the rich as he began a 2,500-km 'Kisan Yatra' in election-bound Uttar Pradesh.
Deoria: In what came as a big embarrassment for the grand old party on Tuesday, there was chaos soon after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's 'Khat Sabha' ended in Rudrapur of Uttar Pradesh's Deoaria district as the locals began fighting for 'khaats' (wooden cots).
The farmers, who attended the 'Sabha', were seen decamping with the 'khats'.
Out of the 4,000 cots to be used during these 'khat sabhas', around 1500 were used in Deoaria alone.
It should be noted a khat usually costs around Rs 750 to 800.
Locals decamp with Khatiyas(wooden cots) after Rahul Gandhi's khat sabha in Deoria ends pic.twitter.com/PDo1Skx9ju
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 6, 2016
Gandhi had earlier in the day launched his poll-campaign for the much important 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls with a 2,500 km-long 'Kisan Yatra' from agriculture-dominated Rudrapur belt of the state.
Rahul Gandhi also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ignoring farmers due to his bias towards the rich as he began a 2,500-km 'Kisan Yatra' in election-bound Uttar Pradesh.
Addressing a crowd at Rudrapur in Deoria district, Gandhi said the Prime Minister wanted to waive off loans of the rich but wasn't ready to do that in the case of farmers.
"Modiji must waive off loans taken by farmers in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere in the country," he said to applause.
"We have embarked on this Yatra to know the problems of the farmers and to help Modiji understand the situation too."
The Congress leader also urged the government slash the electricity tariff by 50 percent and hike the minimum support price given to farmers' produce.
About 2,000 'khaats' were laid out at a ground in Rudrapur of Deoria district to accommodate participants for an interaction with Congress vice president which has been billed as 'Khaat Sabha.'
Gandhi's one-to-one interaction with farmers through 'Khaat Sabhas' is a concept similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Chai Pe Charcha' during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and roadside meetings.
Kisan Maang Patras being signed in Rudrapur pic.twitter.com/8A12r7k1ZI
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) September 6, 2016
The Gandhi scion was earlier greeted by huge crowds. While no one was allowed near the helipad or earlier when he landed with party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in Deoria, Gandhi later went to a Dalit settlement and interacted briefly with people there.
He offered prayers at a Shiva temple - Baba Dugdheshwarnath - and then started his Yatra in a specially designed bus.
Uttar Pradesh: Congress VP Rahul Gandhi offers prayers at Dugdheshwar Nath temple in Rudrapur. pic.twitter.com/gl1bARCmfy
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 6, 2016
Gandhi's office said the Yatra will cover 39 districts as well as 55 of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh.
"Door-to-door campaign begins from village Pachladi. Met farmers and collected Kisan Maang Patras outlining their demands," Gandhi's official twitter handle had said.
"Arrived in Rudrapur to a warm welcome and great enthusiasm. Join @INCIndia on this Kisan Yatra as we fight for rights of farmers, labourers and the poor," Gandhi tweeted earlier.
On way, the entourage was welcomed by crowds and students who showered rose petals on the vehicles. Gandhi repeatedly waved at them.
He is scheduled to hold a "khaat chaupal" at the Satasi Inter College, after which he will go to Ramlakhan square from where he will drive to Deoria.
After a brief stop in the city, his entourage is set to drive to Rampur Karkhana, Tarkulwa and other places where he will address 'nukkad sabhas'.
He will spend the night at the Gorakhpur circuit house.
During the month-long campaign, there will also be roadshows in small and big towns but no large public meeting, Congress leaders said.
Uttar Pradesh will see assembly elections early next year.
With IANS inputs