Dhanera: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday faced hostile black-flag waving crowds shouting slogans in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tour of flood hit Dhanera town in Gujarat's Banaskantha district, forcing him to beat a retreat. His car was pelted with stones, shattering some windows.
Gandhi, who arrived here on Friday on a day-long visit to flood-affected regions of north Gujarat, flew down to Dhanera straight from flood-affected Rajasthan areas and spoke to people from Manotra village as well as surrounding areas, before proceeding to the town's agriculture produce marketing yard to meet the farmers and traders there. Later, as he reached Lal Chowk in Dhanera he met with crowds showing him black flags and shouting slogans for Prime Minister Modi while protesting against him. The Congress Vice President was to address a brief public meeting in Lal Chowk but it had to be cancelled after he was heckled. Police lathi-charged the people to disperse them and Gandhi left the scene. Even as his car moved on, people pelted water pouches at his cavalcade. He later proceeded on a visit of flood-hit villages of Banaskantha district. As he was going to Dhanera helipad, his car was pelted with stones and some window panes were shattered. Gandhi is to take a tour of Banaskantha and Patan districts, which are the worst affected regions in the floods in the state in 70 years. North Gujarat is otherwise a drought-prone region. Over 270 persons are estimated to have died and 4.5 lakh people affected by the floods in the state. As many as 61 persons have been killed in Banaskantha alone, while seven died due to heavy rains and flood waters following rains in upstream Rajasthan. The Congress has set up a control room to coordinate relief work in the flood-affected regions. Party's nominee for the August 8 Rajya Sabha election Ahmed Patel, state president Bharatsinh Solanki and party in-charge for Gujarat Ashok Gehlot have visited north Gujarat. Rahul Gandhi is accompanied by Solanki, Gehlot and former state president Arjun Modhwadia.