A man was detained in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur on Monday for hurling a shoe at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
Gandhi was holding a road show in the central UP town when Hari Om Mishra, believed to be between 30 and 35 years, threw a shoe at the Congress leader.
The shoe did not hit Gandhi, who blamed the BJP-RSS combine for the incident.
Gandhi, one of the most protected politicians in the country, is on a 2,500-km ‘Kisan Yatra’ across Uttar Pradesh, seeking to revive the Congress in a bellwether state it dominated before regional parties built along caste lines displaced it from power 27 years ago and left it a marginal player.
Mishra, who claimed to be a former journalist, alleged that Gandhi had no time to pay homage to the 18 soldiers killed in a militant attack on an army base in northern Kashmir’s Uri on September 18.
Yet Gandhi was holding road shows and khat sabhas in UP, Mishra alleged, referring to the Congress leader’s campaigns in the poll-bound state.
He also alleged that Congress had failed to deliver when the party was in power at the Centre.
Police caught hold of Mishra, a resident of Shastri Nagar locality, immediately after the incident. He was being interrogated.
Soon after the incident, Gandhi hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party and its ideological parent, the RSS.
“Someone hurled a shoe at me. The shoe did not touch me, but I want to tell BJP and RSS people that throw as many shoes you want, I won’t back out.
“My brotherhood and love will stay with me, your hatred will stick to you,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi, 46, is campaigning through 26 districts of the state whose chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is trying to beat back a power struggle in his Samajwadi Party just months before the election.
Gandhi’s Congress faced an embarrassment earlier this month when people ran away with khats (cots) from a party event.
Local hurls a shoe towards Congress VP Rahul Gandhi during his road show in Sitapur(UP),detained by police pic.twitter.com/oU3YsB3Fru— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 26, 2016