Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was on Friday shown black flags in Rae Bareli, which is the Lok Sabha constituency of his mother and Congress president Sonai Gandhi, during his month-long Kisan Yatra — or farmers' rally — in Uttar Pradesh.
Congress workers present at the spot first chased the two youths showing Rahul the black flags. They managed to apprehend one of them, who was later identified as one Mausam, and thrashed him.
Sources say the incident happened during Rahul's second day in the Rae Bareli district. Rahul, who stayed in the local guest house, was just leaving it for the next leg of the rally when two youths showed him black flags near the Civil Lines intersection of the Rae Bareli town. The youth named Mausam was one of them.
The youths and their action caught the attention of the Congress's Rae Bareli district president Ramesh Shukla, who sent his men to stop the youths. The Congress workers chased the youths, but managed to catch hold of only Mausam, while his accomplice fled the scene.
Mausam later told local journalists that the Congress workers not only beat him black and blue but also destroyed his vehicle. "We were protesting against Rahul Gandhi, but did not utter any obscenities not did we verbally abuse him," he said.
Rahul is currently trying to drum up support for the Congress in this politically important state, where it is looking to teturn to power after a 27-year hiatus. The Kisan Yatra is part of the campaign to win the Assembly elections that take place in 2017. The state's political significance stems from the fact that it has sent the most number of prime ministers to office, the latest of which is current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2014 from Varanasi.