Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, on Friday, 1 July, said that he has “forgiven” those who vandalised his office last month.
He was speaking during the three-day tour of his parliamentary constituency: Wayanad in Kerala.
Despite the attack — by student cadres of the CPI(M) — evoking nationwide condemnation, the former Congress president on Friday deemed it “an irresponsible act” and added that he forgave the youngsters.
After visiting the attacked office in Kalpetta, the district headquarters of Wayanad, Gandhi said he had no animosity towards the student activists who vandalised the office and allegedly damaged a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi.
“My attempts aim to ensure larger unity of the country against the hate politics of the BJP-RSS,” he told reporters in Kalpetta.
“The students might have vandalised my office without thinking about the repercussions,” he added. “I have nothing against them, and my priority is unity.”
Gandhi, who reached Kalpetta on Friday morning, was given a rousing reception by several leaders and cadres of the Congress and its alliance partners in the state.
Kerala’s Opposition leader VD Satheesan and KPCC president K Sudhakaran were among those who accompanied Gandhi on his visit to official functions and two-party rallies.
The state government has deployed a 500-member additional police security cover for Gandhi in the backdrop of the 24 June incident.
The SFI cadres had attacked Gandhi’s office, alleging inaction on his part on a recent Supreme Court directive on establishing Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs) or buffer zones around all protected areas and wildlife sanctuaries and national parks across the country.
The SFI argued that the order created great hardships for forest fringe farmers in the Wayanad, Idukki, and Palakkad districts of Kerala.
No headway in CPI(M) office blast
Meanwhile, the police were in the dark several hours after the midnight country bomb attack at the AKG Centre, the CPI(M)’s state headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram.
A special police team comprising 12 senior officials is investigating the issue in which an unidentified man who came in a two-wheeler hurled a country bomb into the office’s compound and escaped.
CCTV images collected from nearby buildings and houses lacked clarity, and the police were apparently struggling to make any headway.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who visited the office on Friday morning, urged party cadres not to get provoked and to keep restraint.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) central committee member EP Jayarajan accused the Congress of sending lumpen cadres with country bombs to attack the party office to avenge the attack on Gandhi’s office.
He told reporters that the CPI(M) never approved the SFI attack on Gandhi’s office.