Guwahati: Amid a raging war of words, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday advised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to avoid visiting the birthplace of Srimanta Sankardeva at Batadrava on January 22. He said his visit to the Vaishnav saint’s birthplace amid the Ram Temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya, will create “unnecessary” competition.
Gandhi’s Nyay yatra entered Assam from Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday. Sarma said his government has deployed commandos along sensitive routes for the political procession on January 22.
Himanta Biswa Sarma said Gandhi’s visit will put Assam in the wrong light.
“We will request Rahul Gandhi not to visit Batadrava on Monday during the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple as it will reflect Assam in the wrong light,” the chief minister said at a press conference.
He said Gandhi can visit the place after the consecration ceremony without creating “unnecessary competition which will be sad for Assam”, he said.
Srimanta Sankardeva is a revered figure in Assam.
Sarma said the Congress’s yatra will pass through sensitive areas.
”These areas are sensitive and I cannot discount any law and order situation arising and as such commandos will be deployed along sensitive routes of minority-dominated areas to be taken by Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra on January 22,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi and Himanta Biswa Sarma have been sniping at each other over the Yatra. On Sunday, both the leaders accused each other of being scared.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said: “He(Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma) is scared. The chief minister is corrupt…”
Sarma said Gandhi was even scared of his child.
“Rahul Gandhi pehle toh mujhse darta tha, ab mere bacche se bhi darna shuru kar diya,” he said.
The consecration ceremony of the Ayodhya Ram Temple will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, NDA politicians, actors, businessman and sports stars. Several Opposition parties have turned down the invitation to the event claiming the BJP has been trying to score political brownie points.
With inputs from PTI, ANI