Rahul skips Puducherry rally, cites poor health

SansadTV Bureau
Chennai: Congress vice President Rahul Gandhi waves at an election rally ahead of Tamil Nadu legislative assembly elections, in Chennai on Saturday. PTI Photo

Chennai: Congress vice President Rahul Gandhi waves at an election rally ahead of Tamil Nadu legislative assembly elections, in Chennai on Saturday. PTI Photo

Congress Vice President has cancelled his visit to poll-bound Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerala for the next two days. Gandhi cited poor health for cancelling the campaign tour.

“Unfortunately I have been down with high fever since Sunday and the Doctor has advised rest for the next two days… My apologies to the ppl of Puducherry, Tamil Nadu & Kerala for missing this opportunity of being with them on 10th &11th May as planned… Shall keep everyone updated about the rescheduled visits,” said the Congress Vice President in a series of tweets.

However, the decision to cancel the visit comes just days after a security threat was perceived to his rally in Puducherry. An anonymous letter threatening to kill him at an election rally there had come to light.

Rahul was scheduled to address a rally of the Congress-DMK alliance at Karaikal in Puducherry today.

The letter, written in Tamil, was received by a senior Congress leader V Narayanasamy on May 5.

A delegation of top Congress leaders met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and urged him to step up Rahul’s security following the assassination threat.

“The Home Minister has assured us of prompt action and security enhancement. He has also assured us that the agencies of the Centre and the states and SPG will be alerted about the threat that has been received,” Congress Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma told reporters after the 20-minute meeting with Singh on Monday.

Acting on Home Minister’s direction, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi directed the Special Protection Group (SPG) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) to take all necessary precautionary measures on Rahul’s security.

Narayanasamy, the AICC General Secretary and a former Union Minister, told PTI over the phone that he had received an ‘unsigned letter’ at his Puducherry residence on May 5, threatening him and Rahul Gandhi.

“Your party is responsible for closure of industries in Puducherry…We will attack you and your former Prime Minister’s son and will be blasted while attending the Karaikal meeting,” said Narayanasamy while quoting the letter.

Rahul’s father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated during a suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur near Chennai in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991 shortly before he was to address a Lok Sabha poll rally.

(With inputs from PTI)