Run-up to Bypoll: As BJP intensifies Bawana campaign, Delhi unit president Manoj Tiwari ‘attacked’

Reacting to the attack on Tiwari, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “The Delhi Police comes under the BJP-led Centre and should immediately investigate the attack.”

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | New Delhi | Published: August 20, 2017 5:45 am
bawana bypoll, manoj tiwari, bjp, Bawana candidates, aap leaders, delhi news Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari in Bawana on Saturday. Express Photo by Amit Mehra

On Saturday, the BJP’s campaign in Bawana, just ahead of the bypoll on August 23, began with public meetings denouncing the AAP and leaders having lunch with a Dalit family. It, however, culminated with an alleged attack on Delhi unit president Manoj Tiwari at Jhanda Chowk.

Besides its Bawana candidate Ved Prakash and the Delhi BJP president, Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, and MPs Udit Raj, Ramesh Bidhuri, Parvesh Verma were in Bawana during the campaign on Saturday.

While the party’s official statement described the campaign as ‘more intense’, the day, the party said, ended on a contentious note when Tiwari was allegedly attacked with “stones” and “sharpened wood”.

According to a BJP spokesperson, “A little while ago, stones and a piece of sharpened wood were thrown at Manoj Tiwari while he was on stage. It appears that the political opponents, sensing defeat in the electoral fight, are resorting to violence now.”

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Rohini), Rishi Pal, said they received a written complaint about the attack from a woman party worker.

“In her complaint, she said that a piece of wood, and stones were thrown at Manoj Tiwari, and the piece of wood hit him as well,” said Pal.

He further said that there was a huge crowd due to which the attacker could not be caught. “With the help of recordings, we are trying to identify the attackers,” Pal added.

Reacting to the attack on Tiwari, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “The Delhi Police comes under the BJP-led Centre and should immediately investigate the attack.”

Further, he said that the BJP’s ‘intense’ campaign, reflected the party’s own ‘insecurity’. “They have become insecure. Why else would so many senior leaders suddenly turn up to campaign in a place that they have otherwise ignored. In fact, we have learnt that they have got volunteers from Haryana to work here because no one from Delhi was willing.”

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader, Harish Rawat, said, “The by-election to the Bawana Assembly constituency will not only be a historical election for Delhi, but also for the country, as it is a brave battle to save democracy. The central government has not done anything for the benefit of the poor and the weaker sections in the last three-and-a-half years.”

Tiwari’s electoral campaign was dominated by the binary of “fraud, betrayal and forgery, typified by the AAP”, while maintaining that the “BJP is in the field of election with the principle of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

Earlier on Saturday, Tiwari and Delhi MP Udit Raj ate lunch with a Dalit family at Poonthkalan, while Balyan addressed two public meetings in Bawana.

“The people of Bawana feel they have been cheated, whereas rest of Delhi is witnessing development. The people of Bawana have been voting for either the Congress party or the AAP during the last two decades but both these parties have betrayed the people,” claimed Balyan.

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