- Rahul Gandhi was arrested before he went to Mandsaur
- Farmers are on protest to demand better prices for crop, loan waiver
- BJP accused Mr Gandhi of exploiting protest for political gain
He was released four hours later.
"Rahul Gandhi tried to break all security provisions which is wrong. It doesn't suit a national party leader to ride a bike without helmet like a college student," said Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh.
The police had said this morning they would not allow Mr Gandhi and other Congress leaders to enter Mandsaur, where a large group of farmers are on a protest to demand better prices for their crop and loan waivers. Mr Gandhi had tweeted yesterday that he wanted to meet the families of the five farmers killed in police firing. He finally spoke to them on the phone, while in custody. The ruling BJP has accused him of exploiting the protests for political gain.
This morning, Mr Gandhi flew to Rajasthan's Udaipur and then drove in a convoy towards Mandsaur, around 180 km away. When his car was stopped near the border, the Congress leader was seen jumping on to a bike in the crush of security personnel, Congress workers, journalists and policemen.
The 46-year-old targeted the BJP governments of both states in his tweets.
Tension peaked on Tuesday as protesters threw rocks and vandalized vehicles, after which the police allegedly opened fire at a crowd. The government confirmed today that the death of five farmers was because of police firing, after denying it earlier. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan posted an appeal on Facebook: "Discussions can solve the issue but some are trying to politicise it, will not spare them."
What law of the land says that it is illegal to stand in solidarity with farmers who were killed simply for demanding what is their right?- Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) June 8, 2017
Mr Gandhi, the Congress' number two leader, is set to take over as party president by October.
His plan to travel to riot-hit Saharanpur in UP last month sparked a similar row as the new Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government denied him permission for the visit.
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