Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel, who recently joined the Congress, was slapped by a man on Friday while he was addressing an election rally at Baldana village of Gujarat’s Surendranagar district.
Alleging that it was an attempt to kill him, Hardik accused the ruling BJP of being behind the attack. The Congress also condemned the attack, calling it “BJP sponsored”.
The assaulter, who has been identified as Tarun Gajjar, a resident of Kadi town of Mehsana district, was thrashed by the people present at the venue. He was later admitted to a hospital in Limbdi town.
Wadhwan police have registered two cases — one on the complaint filed by Hardik and the other by Gajjar. The incident happened when Hardik began addressing a rally of Congress candidate Soma Patel. Gajjar quietly came on the stage and slapped Hardik. Gajjar appeared angry and was heard saying that Hardik was instrumental in the death of 14 Patidars in the 2015 quota stir. Soon, Hardik’s supporters and others present at the venue overpowered Gajjar and thrashed him, before the police intervened and took him to a hospital in Limbdi.
The incident was captured on cameras of news channels covering the event in the district.
Later, Hardik filed a complaint with the police. Gajjar, too, filed a cross complaint against Congress workers.
According to police, Gajjar told them that he attacked Hardik for “personal reasons”.
Later, Hardik’s close aide Nikhil Savani released photographs of Gajjar posing with sitting BJP MP from Mehsana, Jayshree Patel.
The BJP refuted Hardik’s claim that Gajjar was sent by the ruling party to attack him. “The BJP does not have anything to do with the incident. We do not believe in any kind of violence and we condemn the incident…”