Rahul, Akhilesh leave U.P. rally as milling crowds create ruckus

After their request to pacify the crowd went in vain and chaos persisted, the duo left in a helicopter without delivering any speech

Updated - May 20, 2024 05:54 pm IST

Published - May 19, 2024 10:45 pm IST - Lucknow:

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, left, and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, in a red cap, arrive to address an election rally by Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, on May 19, 2024.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, left, and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, in a red cap, arrive to address an election rally by Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, on May 19, 2024. | Photo Credit: AP

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday rushed out of a public meeting in Prayagraj after a ruckus broke out and a stampede-like situation led to a likely security threat. The two opposition leaders who left the meeting without addressing the crowd held a conversation, adding their mike was not working and it was not possible to hold the meeting. In the conversation, both leaders discussed issues of unemployment, inflation and shared their vision for the country. “If they [the BJP] come to power again, they may bring such a law which will take away the rights of our farmers. They have not only cheated the farmers but also our youth, women, government employees and other sections of society,” said Mr. Yadav, in the conversation. Mr. Gandhi targeted the BJP for neglecting the poor, adding the Narendra Modi-led government was working for the selected capitalist elite and done great harm to the nation in all spheres, from economy, social and democratic/constitutional. “Paper leaks of recruitment examinations are rampant here [Uttar Pradesh],” said the Congress leader.

Appeals go unheeded

The ruckus happened at the public meeting at Padila under the Phulpur Lok Sabha seat of Prayagraj where the Congress and SP workers attempted to reach the stage and went out of control. Both Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Yadav, who arrived to address the gathering supporting Amar Nath Singh Maurya, repeatedly requested party workers to settle down, but their appeals went unheeded. The personal security guards and local police personnel struggled to control the excited crowd. Videos from the rally showed broken barricades and a swelling crowd trying to reach the stage. Both the leaders could be seen apparently visibly upset when their supporters climbed the stage. After their request to pacify the crowd went in vain and chaos persisted, the duo stayed there for about 20 minutes before leaving in a helicopter without delivering any speech.

 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party (SP) Chief Akhilesh Yadav in conversation during a joint public meeting for the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls, in Phulpur on Sunday.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party (SP) Chief Akhilesh Yadav in conversation during a joint public meeting for the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls, in Phulpur on Sunday. | Photo Credit: ANI

The Phulpur parliamentary segment in the past was represented by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Later, both the leaders reached Mungari village under the Allahabad Lok Sabha seat and addressed a meeting in support of Congress candidate Ujjwal Raman Singh.

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