Congress leader and KPCC communication wing head Priyank Kharge has expressed concern over what he described as serious security lapses during Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra’s Mysuru leg.
Speaking to media persons on Monday Mr. Kharge said that a leader of stature of Mr. Rahul Gandhi was stranded in traffic for nearly 20 minutes amidst torrential rain on Sunday night which underlines lack of adequate planning by the authorities to handle such a situation. He said it was not about the number of security personnel being provided but how efficiently it was being handled.
‘’We know the problems involved especially when Dasara was being celebrated. But when there is VIP movement – be it Rahul Gandhi or any other senior leader – arrangements should be in place as leaders of such stature cannot be left stranded on the road for 20 to 30 minutes’’, said Mr. Kharge.
‘’The incident reflects poorly on the authorities and there should be planning to handle such exigences to prevent any untoward incident’’, he added.
Mr. Kharge also took exception to the police forming a human cordon when Mr. Rahul Gandhi passed from Mysuru to Mandya district on Monday morning.
There is a security blanket thrown around Mr. Gandhi and police create a cordon with a rope and walk alongside during the yatra. But once the Bharat Jodo Yatra crossed over from Mysuru, the Mandya police took over but they did not have a rope to create a cordon and instead formed a human cordon which reduced the security perimeter, said Mr. Kharge.
‘’When I questioned the Mandya police they said it was left behind in the van as they expected the Mysuru police to provide the rope’’, Mr. Kharge said. The ropes could have been exchanged or bartered but the police reply was baffling, he added.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra will be in the State for another 18 to 20 days and security should be better planned, said Mr. Kharge.