Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha’s (BJYM) Yuva Karyakarta Sammelan was cancelled after people claiming to be supporters of BJP MLA Rakesh Singh Baghel created a ruckus and broke chairs at the venue Saturday. The event was supposed to be attended by BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey and BJYM state president Subhash Yaduvansh.
Though BJYM in-charge for Gorakhpur region, Ranjeet Rai claimed that the troublemakers were sent by SP-BSP, BJPMP Sharad Tripathi told The Sunday Express that, as per his information, those raising slogans were supporters of Baghel.
Trouble started last month when an argument over names on foundation stones for projects turned ugly after BJP MP from Sant Kabir Nagar, Sharad Tripathi rained blows with his shoe on Baghel. The videos of the fracas, which surfaced on social media, showed Tripathi (47) hitting Baghel (30) with his shoe after they argued over the foundation stone. Baghel then rose and tried to assault Tripathi when police officers stepped in, separated the two and escorted Tripathi out of the conference room.
It is alleged that placards reading ‘Sharad Tripathi wapas jao’ were also raised Saturday by people claiming to be Baghel’s supporters. Later, supporters of both the elected representatives raised slogans in the support of their respective leaders.
Rai said that the party senior leadership has taken cognisance of the matter and is expected to take action. When asked if they would register an FIR in the matter, he said that no such step has been taken so far, but they would file a complaint against SP-BSP members if senior leadership directs them to do so.
“The incident that took place on Saturday should not be connected with the earlier incident between the local MP and the MLA as both of them were not even present at the programme. Those who did all this were SP and BSP supporters who intended to create problems for us,” said Rai.
In contradiction to this claim, Tripathi, however, said the supporters were of Baghel and it was just an attempt to release their frustration.
The programme was organised at Jagatguru Shankaracharya Inter College in Menhdawal as part of BJYM’s Vijay Lakshya 2019. Similar events have been organised at around 70 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh so far. “I was supposed to attend the programme but before I could reach, I came to know about the incident. The event was then cancelled. BJP state president also did not go there,” said the BJYM state president.
BJP’s Sant Kabir Nagar district president Setbhan Rai said the event was to take place between 12 pm and 3 pm and around 4,000 workers were present there.
SP state spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary denied the allegations that they were SP-BSP supporters and said this is the culture of BJP and not the SP-BSP. Despite repeated attempts, Baghel could not be reached for comment.