Furious with Congress president Rahul Gandhi for using "foul language" against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP workers staged a protest in Amethi today to demand an apology. They were later dispersed by the police.
As Congress and BJP workers faced off on the second day of Mr Gandhi's visit to his parliamentary constituency, the Congress chief went to the district magistrate's office in Amethi amid tight security, officials said.
"The situation is under control now. The BJP and the Congress came face-to-face and police had to intervene," said Additional Superintendent of Police BC Dubey.
Congress spokesperson Anil Singh said he and other party workers were chased away by a "helpless administration" when they were objecting to the BJP workers raising slogans against their leader.
"Congress workers opposing the mudslinging on our leader by BJP workers were 'lathi charged' and chased away by the helpless administration," Mr Singh said.
According to BJP's district unit president Uma Shankar Pandey, people of Amethi and the party staged a strong protest against the Congress chief's "unfounded allegations" and his use of "foul language" against the prime minister on Monday.
"There is 'chori' (theft) in the works of Narendra Modi -- Rafale, Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi, notebandi (demonetisation), Gabbar Singh Tax (referring to GST). There is theft in all these. One by one, we will prove that Narendra Modi ji is not a 'chowkidaar'. Narendra Modi is a 'chor' (thief)," Rahul Gandhi had said.
The BJP, furious over the language used by Rahul Gandhi, demanded an apology from the Congress chief. "We demand an apology from the local MP or else we will not allow him to enter in the constituency next time he comes here," Mr Pandey told news agency PTI.
He said people in Amethi were ashamed they had elected an MP like Rahul Gandhi and alleged that the Congress president is himself embroiled in a land scam in the constituency and is involved in the National Herald case.
"Jo swayam chor hai, woh machata shor hai (a person who is himself a thief raises the maximum ruckus)," he said, adding that Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law Robert Vadra faces serious charges in Haryana.
Rahul Gandhi's visit to Amethi is his first after his Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage.
Criticising the prime minister over the Rafale jet deal, Rahul Gandhi had on Monday also said the country's "chowkidar" PM Modi snatched money from the poor and handed it over to industrialist Anil Ambani.
"The chowkidar of the country has taken out Rs 20,000 crore from the pockets of the poor, martyrs and the jawans and put it in the pocket of (Anil) Ambani," Mr Gandhi alleged at a meeting in the Jais area of his Lok Sabha constituency.
On Twitter, Rahul Gandhi posted a video relating to French publication Mediapart, which last week carried a story quoting former French president Francois Hollande that Reliance Defence was allegedly proposed by the Indian government to partner with Dassault Aviation for the contract.
"The sad truth about India's Commander-in-Thief," Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter, in what appeared to be an attack on the prime minister.
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