The attack on the Congress rally at Jagdalpur in Chattisgarh has left the entire Congress leadership in shock. Top leaders of the party in Chhattisgarh were attacked yesterday and party leaders Mahendra Karma and Uday Mudliyar were gunned down. President of Chattisgarh Congress Nand Kumar Patel and his son were abducted and later Patel was found dead. Veteran Congress leaders VC Shukla along with over a dozen of Congress workers are critically injured.
It is Sonia Gandhi who has led charge from the party camp. An emergency meeting was called at the Prime Minister’s residence consisting of the PM, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Political Secretary Ahmed Patel, Treasurer and Rajya Sabha member from Chhatisgarh Motilal Vohra and General Secretary in charge BK Hariprasad. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde could not make it for the meeting as he is not in the country. Minister of State (Home) RPN Singh also didn’t make it to the meeting as he is in his constituency.
An angry and visibly upset Sonia demanded immediate action from the central government. The PM called up Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and sought details of the incident. It is decided that RPN Singh will be sent immediately to assess situation on ground. Rahul Gandhi and BK Hariprasad are also expected to reach Chattisgarh. Sonia Gandhi said, “We are devastated, it is despicable that ordinary people engaged in political activity were attacked.”
Prime Minister’s Office has sought details from the Home Ministry and the Chattisgarh government. Officer on Special Duty in Home Ministry Anil Goswami has been asked to leave for Raipur. TEHELKA sources suggest that an operation with direct approval from the political executive to nab culprits of this attack can start soon. The writ is clear that strict action is to be taken. There is a considerable presence of Central Paramilitary Force in Chattisgarh and additional forces could also be brought in. There are reports that initial inputs have already started coming in.
There is much anger within the Congress party against the killings. Congress leadership has told its cadres to be patient. There is an atmosphere of sadness yet determination at the Congress headquarters. Senior Congress members say that this is not the first time that the party has witnessed violence. Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said, “If someone believes that Congress will be bowed down, they are mistaken. As someone who has witnessed terrorism, I can understand what the families are going through.”
Major political parties have condemned the attack. Senior leaders of the party question if ample security was provided. Law Minister Kapil Sibal said, “I strongly condemn the attack, whether security was given or not, this is an important and needs to be investigated.”