Priyanka Gandhi Vadra waves during her public meeting for giving final touch to Sonia Gandhi poll campaign in Raebareli. (HT photo/Deepak Gupta)
There was high drama in Amethi when Aam Aadmi Party candidate Kumar Vishwas on Friday staged a sit-in at a police station demanding an FIR against his Congress rival Rahul Gandhi, his sister Priyanka and some of their party workers alleging threat to his life.
In the evening, an FIR was registered against Vinod Mishra who had allegedly threatened the poet-turned-politician. The 44-year-old controversial AAP leader and his supporters quietly trooped out of the Gauriganj police station after all the noise though the police action fell short of his demand for action against the Congress vice-president and his younger sister. Mishra was a close aide of the Gandhi siblings, Vishwas had claimed.
In a late-evening twist, the Amethi administration lodged an FIR against Vishwas for violating the code of conduct and obstructing official work.
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To back the “threat” claim, Vishwas had on Thursday posted a video on Twitter. In the footage, the authenticity of which couldn’t be verified, a man, identified as Vinod Mishra, can be seen running towards Priyanka’s car, saying he would shoot Vishwas for contesting against “Rahul Bhaiya”. Priyanka, who has been campaigning in Amethi as well as neighbouring Rae Bareli, her mother and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s constituency, tells him to calm down and not say such things. She then tells him to come to guesthouse.
Instead of informing the police, Priyanka invited Mishra to the guest house, Vishwas said, giving an application for an FIR. He said the video was shot on April 15 when Priyanka was touring the constituency.
“If I’m attacked in future, the Congress will be responsible,” said Vishwas, who has been camping in the Gandhi pocket borough for the last two months.
Rahul and the BJP’s Smriti Irani are his main rivals in Amethi that goes to the polls on May 7. In the past too, Vishwas has accused the Congress of violence. He had also taken a jibe at Irani hours after the announcement of her candidature, saying any “Irani or Pakistani” would not make any difference in the constituency. Irani had hit back, saying the AAP leader had a history of being disrespectful to women -– a reference to his derogatory comments about nurses from Kerala.
During the dharna, Vishwas tweeted: “Protest continues at Gauriganj. No voices heard.” The police told him that an FIR would only be registered if he was injured, he told HT. “… Seems there is no rule of law in Amethi. Congress goons are ruling here.”
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“We have received an application from Vishwas for lodging an FIR against Rahul, Priyanka, Chandrakant Dubey, Vinod Mishra and other Congress workers,” Amethi superintendent of police Hiralal, who uses only one name, said earlier.