GOA, December 22 (GCCurrentAffairs): Situation along city’s D B Road turned tensed for almost an hour after BJP and Congress workers came face to face during a protest rally on Rafale issue organised by Amit Shah led party.
While Congress leaders including its State Mahila President Pratima Coutinho charged the BJP workers of assaulting her and fellow workers, the latter has accused former of “instigating the peaceful rally.”
Around 150 BJP workers who held a protest rally to expose Congress’ action of misguiding the nation through Rafale issue was led by Party’s State Chief Vinay Tendulkar, General Secretary Satish Dhond, Ministers Mauvin Godinho and Vishwajit Rane amongst others.
The protest went peacefully till the BJP workers reached near Ferry Point, just opposite Congress House, where Rahul Gandhi led party had staged ‘Gandhigiri.’
Around a dozen of women were waiting with flowers in their hand, snacks and traditional Aarti thali to welcome the BJP workers.
A banner mentioning “Goa Pradesh Congress Committee Welcomes Goa BJP to Explain their Lies on Rafale Deal. The Nation needs to know the truth” was displayed outside the party headquarters of Congress.
The scuffle began after BJP workers burnt effigy of Rahul Gandhi in front of Congress House, and just then, the Congress workers led by Mahila Congress Chief Pratima Coutinho moved ahead to serve the snack and offer flowers.
The melee began when workers of both the parties almost clashed against each other. Coutinho later addressing a press conference claimed that she was beaten up and manhandled by male BJP workers when she had gone to offer them the snacks.
BJP Spokesman Damodar Naik, however, refuted the allegation with the claim that Coutinho had spitted water on the workers, which angered them.
“There is clear video footage. You can go through. You will see how Congress workers were instigating the BJP’s peaceful morcha. You will see how Pratima was spitting water on the crowd,” said Naik, a former Fatorda MLA.
He said that the “Congress wanted to divert the entire topic, because of which they staged fake Gandhigiri and tried to instigate crowd.”
“Congress leaders who are neck deep in scams wanted to avoid answering our valid questions and hence adopted this trick to instigate the crowd,” said Naik.
The strong police presence led by Superintendent of Police (North) Chandan Chaudhury, Deputy Superintendent of Police Nelson Albuquerque and Police Inspector Siddhanth Shirodkar managed to separate workers of both the parties.
Later addressing a press conference, Coutinho displayed couple of shoes and sandals which, she claimed, were thrown on her.
Showing bruises on her hands, she also claimed that fellow Mahila Congress workers were also attacked by man from the BJP crowd.
“I would call them Goons of BJP. They were not looking workers of BJP,” she said.
North Goa Congress Chief Vijay Bhike said that BJP workers had no courtesy to respond to the large hearted behaviour shown by Congress leaders.
“We were only few. If we wanted to clash, we could have gathered our crowd. But what we wanted was to greet them as they had come to our door steps,” said Goa Pradesh Youth Congress Committee President Varad Mardolkar.