This Article is From Oct 02, 2020

"Differences With Congress But...": Sanjay Raut On Rahul Gandhi-Cops Row

Mr Gandhi, who was yesterday marching to Hathras in UP - where the torture and murder of a 20-year-old Dalit girl has triggered nationwide outrage - was stopped and briefly detained

'Differences With Congress But...': Sanjay Raut On Rahul Gandhi-Cops Row

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said UP Police's treatment of Rahul Gandhi was not acceptable


  • Sanjay Raut today condemned UP Police's manhandling of Rahul Gandhi
  • "The way he was stopped... you saw it on TV... is unacceptable," he said
  • Dramatic visuals showed face-off between Mr Gandhi and the UP Police

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut today condemned Uttar Pradesh Police's manhandling of Rahul Gandhi, saying that while his party might have "differences" with the Congress and he understood that a "law and order situation" existed in the area, the cops' treatment of a national leader was unacceptable.

"Rahul Gandhi is a national leader. We may have differences with them (the Congress) but a national figure from a leading family is going to meet someone. After stopping him... I accept Section 144 (prohibitory orders banning large gatherings) is in place and there is a law and order situation... but the way Rahul Gandhi was treated by the police... no one can support," Mr Raut told news agency ANI.

"Rahul Gandhi is Indira Gandhi's grandson. He is Rajiv Gandhi's son also. Both have sacrificed their lives for this country. You may disagree with Rahul Gandhi's politics but what happened in UP, where a Dalit girl was raped and murdered and a political leader is going to meet the family, is unacceptable. The way he was stopped... you saw it on TV... is unacceptable. His collar was caught and he was pushed to the ground... this is like the gang rape of democracy," Mr Raut added.

Mr Gandhi, who was yesterday marching to the Hathras district in UP - where the gang rape and murder of a 20-year-old Dalit girl has triggered nationwide outrage - was stopped in Greater Noida (near Delhi) and briefly detained.

Dramatic visuals showed Mr Gandhi, who was accompanied by his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, being pushed by cops and falling to the ground.

"Why are you arresting me? What are the grounds for the arrest? What law am I violating," he demanded during the heated exchange with policemen who said they were charging him with "Section 188" - a law on defying official orders.

The incident was condemned by several political leaders, including the NCP's Sharad Pawar. "Reckless behavior of UP police towards Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is extremely condemnable. It is reprehensible for those who are supposed to uphold the law to trample upon democratic values in such a manner," Mr Pawar tweeted.

Mr Raut's Shiv Sena rules Maharashtra in a fragile alliance with the ideologically disparate Congress and NCP (Nationalist Congress Party). The three formed the government after a fallout between the Sena and long-time allies BJP (in power in UP) over power-sharing.

However, the relationship between the two (Sena and Congress) remains uneasy, with Mr Gandhi's comments earlier this year pounced upon by the opposition as a sign of discord in the ruling alliance.

"I would like to make a differentiation here. We are supporting the government in Maharashtra, but we are not the key decision maker... There is a difference between running the government and supporting it," he said in response to questions on Maharashtra's Covid crisis and possible disagreements on tackling it.

Last week Mr Raut met Devendra Fadnavis, the former Maharashtra Chief Minister and a senior BJP leader, in Mumbai, in a meeting that he first said was "not political" and about which, days later, he asked "is it a sin to discuss politics?"

With input from ANI