Now remember when the Congress came out on the road with such force on any issue related to public interest. Can hardly remember. The Congress is passing through the toughest phase in its history of independent India, yet the party has never vented its strength on the streets on any issue of public interest. But when the question is of the Gandhi family, even if it is about alleged corruption, the Congress will come down. Will come down with full force. From the point of view of familyism, the critics may blame the Gandhi family for the current misfortune of the Congress, but the family is also a compulsion for the party. Can’t deny that today it is the family that keeps the Congress tied, otherwise the party would have disintegrated. Passion for the Gandhi family among Congressmen is not a new thing. In this passion there is dedication, there is sycophancy, there is ambition, there is drama to grab attention…. Sometimes a Congressman makes a high voltage drama of committing suicide for the Gandhi family, and sometimes a plane hijacks itself.
When two Congress leaders hijacked the plane in protest against the arrest of Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi was arrested twice after the 1975-77 Emergency ended. Congress suffered a crushing defeat in the election of 1977. The Janata Party government was formed under the leadership of former Congressman Morarji Desai. On 3 October 1977, the CBI arrested Indira Gandhi on corruption charges. She was released only two days later. She was arrested for the second time in 1977 when she was attending the winter session of Parliament. On 19 December 1978, a CBI team arrested Indira Gandhi in Parliament itself. This time he had to stay in Delhi’s Tihar Jail for a week. Congress took to the streets across the country. Started protesting. But then two Youth Congress workers did something that no one could have thought of.
On December 20, the day after Indira Gandhi’s arrest, an Indian Airlines plane coming from Kolkata to Lucknow via Delhi was hijacked. Indian Airlines flight number 410 was about to land at Delhi’s Palam airport around 6 pm. There were 126 passengers on board this Boeing 737 aircraft. Around 6.45 pm, two youths got up from their seats and entered the cockpit. The two youths told the pilots that they had a bomb and a gun. Declare that the plane has been hijacked. Then what was left The voice echoed in the plane that our plane has been hijacked and we are not landing in Delhi, we are going towards Patna. Then it was said that now the plane will go to Varanasi instead of Patna. Eventually the plane landed in Varanasi. The kidnappers were Youth Congress workers named Bhola Pandey and Devendra Pandey.
Since the information about the hijacking, there was a stir from Varanasi to Lucknow and Delhi. After the plane’s landing in Varanasi, the then Chief Minister of UP, Ram Naresh Yadav spoke to the hijackers over the phone. They demanded that Indira Gandhi should be released unconditionally immediately. The charges against Sanjay Gandhi should be withdrawn. Negotiations between the kidnappers and the government started to end the hostage crisis. It’s Morning. In this, the father of Bhola Nath Pandey reached Varanasi airport. He talked to both of them on the phone and explained. Eventually both hijackers agreed to exit the plane, and the hijacking crisis ended in a dramatic fashion. It was later revealed that the gun and the bomb used to hijack the plane was actually a toy gun and a cricket ball.
Bhola Pandey, who hails from Ballia, was later an MLA from Congress twice (1980 to 1985 and 1989 to 1991). In 1991, he contested the Lok Sabha elections from Salempur parliamentary constituency in Deoria district of UP but lost. Later in 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2014 also he contested the Lok Sabha elections from Salempur but every time he had to face defeat. In 2009, he lost by a very close margin. At the same time, Devendra Pandey was counted among the loyal workers of Congress and close to the Gandhi family.
Congress leader had pointed a pistol at his forehead when Sonia did not become PM
The Congress-led UPA won the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. There was an atmosphere of enthusiasm among the Congressmen. On 18 May 2004, Sonia Gandhi interacted with Congress MPs. Congressmen were happy that after a long time, not only the party, but now the reins of the country are again going in the hands of a member of the Gandhi family. Suddenly Sonia surprised everyone. “The post of prime minister is not my aim. I have always been convinced that whenever I find myself in a situation like it is today, I will listen to my inner voice. I politely decline the post of Prime Minister. As soon as Sonia said this, all the MPs raised their hands and started refusing her, demanding to change their decision. Three Congress workers attempted self-immolation in Kanpur.
Meanwhile, Congress workers in large numbers started protesting outside the Congress office and Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence in Delhi. There was a demand from Sonia Gandhi to change her decision. Then a very dramatic scene took place outside 10 Janpath. A man climbed on top of the car and started waving a pistol. Putting a pistol on his forehead, he started saying that if Sonia Gandhi is not ready to become the Prime Minister, then she will kill herself by shooting herself. That person was none other than Gangacharan Rajput, the Congress candidate who was defeated in the 2004 elections from Hamirpur in UP.
It is also ironic that the leader who did high-voltage drama in front of the media while waving pistols, demanding that Sonia Gandhi be made the Prime Minister, had switched from BJP to Congress. Before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he left the Congress and joined the BSP and finally returned to the BJP in 2015. Obviously, such gimmicks generally have nothing to do with loyalty and dedication. In cases like these, all efforts are made to attract the attention of the top leadership and be favored by them.
Gangacharan Rajput left BJP and joined Congress. He also won the Lok Sabha elections in 1996 and 1998 on a BJP ticket. In 2004, he contested from Hamirpur on a Congress ticket but had to face defeat. Before 2009 Lok Sabha elections he joined BSP and contested against Varun Gandhi from Pilibhit parliamentary constituency but lost. Later the BSP sent him to the Rajya Sabha. In 2015, Gangacharan Rajput again joined BJP.
When Rahul Gandhi’s supporter started threatening suicide by climbing a tree
After 2014, the Congress suffered a crushing defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as well. On May 25, Rahul Gandhi, taking responsibility for the defeat, offered to step down on moral grounds. Finally, on July 3, 2019, he announced his resignation from the post of Congress President by writing a 4-page letter on Twitter. Shortly after, a supporter tried to climb a tree with a rope outside the Congress office in Delhi. He started saying that if Rahul Gandhi does not take back his resignation, he will commit suicide by hanging himself from a tree. The policemen present there and some other people stop him from climbing the tree. When the police takes the man away, the rest of the Congress workers start raising slogans of ‘Rahul Gandhi Zindabad’.