Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said he "could have been attacked with a weapon" by a man who confronted him on stage in Hyderabad yesterday and told him not to speak ill of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao ('KCR').
"Our police had communicated with the Telangana government and we sent my tour plan too," the BJP leader told reporters. "But, even before I addressed the crowd, a man wearing colours of TRS (the ruling party) came up and said, 'Why are you talking about the CM?'. It was premeditated. I hadn't even spoken yet."
The security-scare controversy comes when KCR is gathering anti-BJP forces for a challenge to PM Narendra Modi and BJP in 2024. Before that, the state too goes to polls next year.
KCR-led Telangana Rashtra Samiti has said there was no security breach. "Mr Sarma had been abusing CM K Chandrashekhar Rao the whole day... People did not like that, so one of them, who happened to be KCR's supporter, reacted. We want Mr Sarma to apologise to our chief minister and the people of Telangana," TRS spokesperson Krishank Manne told the media.
A video of the incident showed the man — identified as Nand Kishore Vyas, a local TRS leader — pulling at the microphone set up in front of Mr Sarma. He glared at Mr Sharma and said something that isn't audible in the video. Mr Sarma, who kept smiling, was in Hyderabad as a guest of the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samiti for the Ganesh festival and other events.
On Camera, Man Moves Mic Away, Confronts Himanta Sarma On Hyderabad Stage— NDTV Videos (@ndtvvideos) September 9, 2022
NDTV's Uma Sudhir reportspic.twitter.com/Z2aGv3SaXU
Today Mr Sarma alleged that the man, who was taken into preventive custody, had got away with "mild sections" of the law. "He had come very close to me and could have used a sharp weapon if he had one. Of course, he didn't try to physically hurt me," he said.
"If this had happened to a visiting leader from in Assam, police would have taken more action," he added.
He continued the political attacks on KCR, echoing his Hyderabad speech. "Our politics should be free of dynasts. In Telangana, only one family is running the government," he said, referring to how KCR's son is a minister, daughter a legislator.
He also attacked Congress's Rahul Gandhi and his 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', particularly over a viral video in which he's with a Catholic priest, George Ponnaiah, in Tamil Nadu.
In the video tweeted by several BJP leaders, Mr Gandhi is heard asking, "Jesus Christ is a form of God? Is that right?" To which, the pastor said, "He is the real God... God reveals him(self) as a man, a real person... not like Shakti... so we see a human person."
Mr Sarma accused Rahul Gandhi of "provoking the priest to speak that way".
"We have no issue of beliefs, but one should not compare," he added.
The Congress has said the BJP leaders' tweets bear "no relation whatsoever" to what is being claimed.