In a move that is set to create a fresh controversy, the district administration in Amethi asked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who is also the MP from Amethi, to postpone his three-day visit to his constituency from October 4 to 6.
The officials have reportedly cited the administration’s inability to provide adequate security to Mr Gandhi till October 5 as Durga Puja, Dussehra and Muharram is being observed and the district administration is busy providing security.
In a letter written by the district magistrate of Amethi, Yogesh Kumar, to the district Congress president, has asked Mr Gandhi to put off his visit and reschedule to anytime of his choice after October 5.
The last time Mr Gandhi visited his parliamentary constituency was on February 19 this year for the campaigning of Uttar Pradesh elections.
The request by the district administration of Amethi took a political turn as BJP president Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani have already announced their visit to Amethi on October 10. Former Congress MLA Akhilesh Pratap Singh alleged that the move had a political motive.
“The BJP government is apprehensive of Mr Gandhi’s Amethi visit and feels that they will not succeed in their design to turn the people of Amethi against their own leader,” Mr Singh said.
He said that the district officials are working under the pressure of the BJP government.
“The district officials are apparently working under pressure. It is ridiculous that they claim they cannot provide security to Mr Gandhi, but can provide the same to BJP leaders. Amethi is Mr Gandhi’s home and there is no reason why he should not visit the place,” Mr Singh added.
Mr Singh added that the Yogi government was perhaps worried that Mr Gandhi’s schedule might “eclipse” the proposed visit by Mr Shah and Ms Irani and Union minister Nitin Gadkari to Amethi on October 10.
Slamming Congress, state BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “As an elected MP, Rahul has failed to work for his people and many of the development schemes promised by him are lying incomplete.”
Taking a dig at the Gandhi scion, he said “missing” posters of the Congress leader had been put up in Amethi in the past.
“That is why, (Smriti) Irani has taken the initiative to start those projects in Amethi,” said Tripathi.
Last month, at least a dozen “missing” posters of Mr Rahul Gandhi had surfaced in his constituency. The posters carrying the Gandhi scion’s picture offered a ‘reward’ to anyone who could trace their MP. The posters, however, were not attributed to any individual or organisation.