Congress's Rahul Gandhi hit out at Union home minister Amit Shah today over law an order in Jammu and Kashmir and challenged him to foot it from Jammu to Srinagar if the security situation has really improved. Mr Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra had to temporarily stop over an alleged security lapse earlier this week. While the police denied any lapse, the BJP made jibes at the Congress leader, alleging that he was making "baseless claims".
Pointing out that targeted killings and bomb blasts have become a regular occurrence in Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Gandhi said, "If the situation is so good why don't the BJP people walk from Jammu to Lal Chowk?"
"Why doesn't Mr Amit Shah walk from Jammu to Lal Chowk if the situation is so secure?" he added, speaking at a media conference in Srinagar, where the concluding ceremony of the party's Bharat Jodo Yatra will be held tomorrow.
Mr Gandhi's security has generated headlines since he entered Jammu and Kashmir.
On Friday, the Congress had suspended the yatra, citing a security lapse.
As the Yatra crossed into Qazigund from Banihal, meaning to cover 16 km to Anantnag that day, Mr Gandhi and National Conference chief Omar Abdullah who had joined the march, were besieged by a huge crowd despite the wet weather and the 7 degrees Celsius temperature.
The security ring around Mr Gandhi had failed to control the crowd and advised him to stop the walk. The Congress had alleged that security arrangements by the Jammu and Kashmir administration had "completely collapsed".
The Jammu & Kashmir Police said it was providing "foolproof security".
"There was no security lapse at all. We will provide foolproof security.... Only authorised persons identified by organisers and the frisked crowd were allowed inside towards the route of Yatra," the police said in a series of tweets.
"Rahul Gandhi has developed the habit of making unrestrained allegations. The claims he has made against the Jammu and Kashmir Police and security agencies are all baseless," said the BJP's national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia.
"Why did the organisers not inform the police that a large number of people would be joining the Yatra from Banihal... There was no lapse in the security arrangements, and the same has been underlined by the Kashmir Police," he had added.