NEW DELHI (AFP) - Indias ruling Congress party reacted with fury Thursday after police arrested senior leader Rahul Gandhi, widely tipped as a future prime minister, as he took part in protests by farmers. The 40-year-old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty and son of Congress party president Sonia Gandhi was briefly taken into custody Wednesday night after he joined farmers protesting against the construction of a highway. On Thursday, other senior political leaders trying to join the protest, including Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), were also detained by police, reports said. The arrest of Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh has further poisoned relations between the states firebrand leader, chief minister Mayawati, and the Congress party, which fiercely protects its young leaders image. How can the state government arrest Rahul Gandhi? He is fighting for the farmers and that is not a crime, said Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi in New Delhi. The state government of Uttar Pradesh is greedy for farmlands. They are attacking farmers, killing people, destroying crops. We will not let this happen, he told AFP. Gandhi, an Uttar Pradesh MP, was detained because of fears a rally he planned to hold on Thursday would turn violent, the local government said. He was escorted to the capital and freed at about 2:00 am.