The Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra was halted on Friday, shortly after it entered the Kashmir Valley due to ‘security breach’, the party said.
“This morning, a huge crowd had gathered. But unfortunately, the police arrangement completely collapsed. Cops who had to hold the crowd were nowhere to be seen. So my security people were very much concerned with me continuing. So I had to cancel my walk, while other people continued,” party MP Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the Yatra, said at a press briefing.
Reacting to Congress’ claimes, the BJP slammed the grand old party and said that all it wants is to grab the headlines with its Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Addressing a press conference here, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said, “Rahul Gandhi has developed a habit of levelling unrestrained allegations. The claims he has made against the Jammu and Kashmir Police and security agencies are all baseless. This just shows that cheap and petty politics is being played out.”
Bhatia added, “With such statements being made by Rahul Gandhi and the Congress, it becomes clear that the Yatra is being carried out only to remain in the headlines. There was no lapse in the security arrangements, and the same has been underlined by the Kashmir Police. Rahul Gandhi has to give answer to one question – why did the organisers not inform the police that a large number of people would be joining the Yatra from Banihal?”
“We know that he has Z+ category cover. Under this, there are several rules, including informing the security agencies about the crowd expected. This is carelessness on the part of the Congress leader. Around 1,500 personnel of the CAPF and the police who were deployed were adhering to the rules,” said Bhatia.
The BJP leader continued: “Rahul Gandhi was not following his responsibilities in this regard. You can’t halt the Yatra after 1 km without informing the security agencies. He is trying to break the morale of the security personnel, which is unfortunate.”
Meanwhile, commenting on the claims made by Rahul Gandhi, the Kashmir Police said: “There was no security lapse at all. We will provide foolproof security.”