The Samajwadi Party (SP) cadre clashed at several places during party workers’ meetings held across the districts on Monday.
While in Maharajganj, Ankurmani Tripathi — state secretary of SP’s student wing — sustained head injuries, in Muzaffarnagar, two groups of SP leaders clashed. Similar clashes were also reported from Kushinagar, Agra, Barabanki and other places. Police had to intervene to control the warring factions.
The SP had organised one-day workers’ meetings to boost the morale of the party cadre after its humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.
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At the meeting in Maharajganj, supporters of SP candidate Akhilesh Singh and Tripathi clashed. The meeting was also attended by Congress MLA Kaushal Kishore alias Munna — Akhilesh Singh’s brother — and his supporters. Kishore had defeated Tripathi in the 2012 Assembly polls from Nautanwa. During the meeting, Akhilesh Singh’s group alleged that Tripathi’s supporters did not support him during elections. A verbal duel followed, leading to a scuffle. Both groups reportedly fired in the air and Tripathi had to be hospitalised.
Later, he lodged a case against Kishore and his supporters.
At the Muzaffarnagar meeting, SP candidate Virender Singh declared that those who had not supported him during the elections are present on the stage. Nawazish Alam, SP MLA from Budhana — who was on the stage — objected. Soon, Alam’s supporters asked Virender to give the names of those who had opposed him. Sloganeering began with both groups openly displaying firearms.
In Kushinagar, Ghanshyam Singh, brother of MLA Radheyshyam Singh who lost the polls from the seat, had an altercation with MLA Puranmasi Dehati’s son. Both groups clashed till police intervened. The meeting was abandoned.
In Agra, women workers protested against local leaders, claiming that they were not given importance during party functions. Agra’s Mayor Indrajeet Arya (SP) praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that his vision and campaigning style remained unmatched and thus, SP lost the polls. Minister Ram Sakal Gurjar too appreciated Modi’s campaign style.
In Barabanki, Rajesh Yadav, a Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha leader, created a stir when he said that Muslims had not voted for the SP. Several Muslim leaders objected and the meeting turned into a heated duel with both groups indulging in a scuffle. The meeting was abandoned.