Rahul Gandhi Unwell, Won't Visit Puducherry Where Death Threat Was Received

Congress' Puducherry unit reported that it had received death threats against Rahul Gandhi.

Highlights

  • Rahul Gandhi said doctors have advised him rest for two days
  • Security was strengthened in Puducherry after death threats for Mr Gandhi
  • Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will vote on Monday, May 16
New Delhi: In late night tweets, Rahul Gandhi announced that he will today not visit Puducherry, where security was tightened after his party said they had received death threats for the Congress vice president.

Mr Gandhi apologised for cancelling, saying he had been running high fever since Sunday and has been advised rest by doctors for the next two days. He was scheduled to tour Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where elections will be held on May 16.

The Congress leader said the visits would be rescheduled; campaigning ends in these states on May 14.     On Monday, the government cleared additional security for Mr Gandhi after his party met Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the assassination threats. Mr Singh issued "extra caution" for both the Intelligence Bureau and the elite force that guards politicians considered to be at high risk.

The Puducherry police too had made special preparations for Mr Gandhi's speech.

Last week, senior Congress leader V Narayanswamy received a letter at his residence which warned, "We will attack you and your former Prime Minister's son and (he will) be blasted responsible for closure of industries, while attending a meeting."

The Home Minister has decided that Mr Gandhi will get more commandos from the SPG or the Special Protection Group, which handles the security of top leaders including the Prime Minister. When he visits states, the local police force will also have to provide more guards.

Mr Gandhi's father, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was assassinated by a suicide bomber at an election meeting in Tamil Nadu in 1991.

The Congress delegation which met the Home Minister today included former union minister Anand Sharma and raised concerns also over the proposed "en mass shifting" of around 400 officers of the SPG or Special Protection Group. "SPG requires rigorous training.

It's a matter of concern as to why such a proposal has come up to change such a large number of the personnel," said Mr Sharma.