Congress MLAs,BJP workers clash outside Assembly

Violent scenes were witnessed outside the state Assembly building on Friday,when Opposition Congress MLAs-all dressed in black to protest against the Ahmedabad hooch tragedy-clashed with a group of BJP workers over the issue.

Written by Express News Service | Gandhinagar | Published:July 11, 2009 1:00 am

Violent scenes were witnessed outside the state Assembly building on Friday,when Opposition Congress MLAs — all dressed in black to protest against the Ahmedabad hooch tragedy — clashed with a group of BJP workers over the issue. The timely intervention of the police prevented the situation from taking an ugly turn.

The incident occurred when a group of BJP youth workers from Ahmedabad attempted to counter the slogan-shouting Congress MLAs who were returning after staging a protest programme near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue outside the Assembly building.

The Congress legislators,led by Leader of the Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil,had gone to the statue during the Assembly recess to chant a Ram dhun to protest against the Narendra Modi government’s alleged failure to check the hooch tragedy and “the political shelter being provided by the ruling BJP to bootleggers in the state”.

As the Opposition party MLAs were returning to the Assembly,a group of BJP youth workers confronted them with counter slogans. The BJP workers,who came in their private vehicles from Ahmedabad,were armed with sticks. This apparently provoked a section of Congress MLAs to launch a counter offensive,where both rival groups resorted to fisticuffs. A posse of policemen posted there swung into action and separated the two groups. No one was reported hurt in the incident.

Later,Gohil told reporters that about 150 BJP youth workers had sneaked into the Assembly complex holding visitors’ passes issued by three BJP legislators from Ahmedabad — Pradipsinhji Jadeja,Gitaben Patel and Vallabh Kakadia.

Before this,the BJP activists made a vain attempt to disrupt the Congress’ Ram dhun programme,he alleged,adding that they had met Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of State for Home Amit Shah in the Assembly premises.

“It was a pre-planned conspiracy hatched by Modi and Shah to gag the Opposition party’s voice against the government’s failure to implement the prohibition policy effectively. The BJP workers came in large numbers in their private vehicles,carrying sticks and sharp weapons. What was shocking was that even the security personnel did not bother to check their vehicles before allowing them entry,” Gohil added.

About an hour after the incident,the Congress MLAs marched to the Raj Bhavan to hand over a memorandum to Governor Nawal Kishore Sharma,demanding proper action against the government for the “constitutional breakdown” in the state. In the memorandum,they alleged that besides BJP youth office-bearers like Samir Barot,Narendra Purohit,Janak Parmar and Gaurav Patel,there were certain bootleggers and anti-social elements like Kamlesh Tripathi in the unruly crowd that attacked them.

Some Congress members had even caught five-odd hooligans and handed them over to the policemen posted there. But,the police allowed them to flee from the scene of the incident,the memorandum alleged.

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