Bharat Jodo Yatra: ‘Not a security lapse…someone came to hug me’, says Rahul

Hours after the incident of alleged ‘security breach’ in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asked why people were calling it a lapse.

He said: “Why are you calling it a lapse … Someone came to hug me. It’s not a lapse … sometimes people are over-excited… I wouldn’t call it a security lapse,” he said during a press conference when the yatra halted at Ghaunspur village.

Earlier in the day, there were reports in the media about the security breach even as no Congress leader formally made any such claim.

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Amarinder Singh Raja, who is in the know of the route, also denied there was a security breach at the Yatra, saying that Rahul had invited them to meet him. The incident took place in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district.

As per media reports, a man breached Rahul Gandhi’s security in order to hug the Gandhi scion. The person was, however, quickly pulled away from the Congress leader. Later, some called it a security breach.

The videos of the incident showed Gandhi startled by the man’s sudden attempt to hug him. This raised concerns regarding his security weeks after the Congress flagged several lapses in guard.

Rahul Gandhi said that he could only “see a person who came to hug him”. “I don’t know why you are calling it a lapse,” Gandhi said.

In a 12-second video shared by news agency ANI, the man wearing an orange jacket can be seen running towards Rahul Gandhi during the Yatra. As he tried to hug Gandhi, he was immediately pulled away by security personnel present in the march.

ome time ago, the Congress alleged lapses on the part of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which is tasked with maintaining the inner cordon of Gandhi’s Z-plus security cover.

Rahul lashed out at the structure of media under the current dispensation, claiming that it had become a mechanism for “distraction” rather than a “watchdog”. Speaking at a press briefing in Hoshiarpur, he turned down a question about his “so-called” constant attacks on “Godi media. “I have never said ‘Godi Media’… that is not my phrase. I do say that the media is being controlled, that a lot of pressure is being put,” he claimed.

“The media is being pressured… The reporters are not at much fault. You have constraints. You have to do what your owner tells you to do. I understand this as you tell me… I’m not criticising you. I’m criticising the structure of the media,” he said.

He also slammed the BJP and RSS for having “captured all the institutions of India”.

The Punjab leg of the march began last week from Sirhind in Fatehgarh Sahib and is passing through Mandi Gobindgarh, Khanna, Sahnewal, Ludhiana, Goraya, Phagwara, Jalandhar, Dasyua, and Mukerian. On January 19, a rally will be held at Pathankot before the foot march enters Jammu and Kashmir.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is a 3,500km pan-India march launched by the Congress in September 2022 in hopes of mobilizing its cadres as well as reviving public support, is nearing its end.


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