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Posted at: Apr 20, 2019, 7:05 AM; last updated: Apr 20, 2019, 10:26 AM (IST)

Angry at 14 youths’ death, man slaps Hardik at rally

Cong alleges BJP hand, CM Rupani dubs it ‘drama’

 

Ahmedabad, April 19

Patidar leader and Congress’ star campaigner Hardik Patel was today slapped allegedly by a BJP sympathiser during an election rally, creating a political storm in Gujarat with both parties blaming one another for the unsavoury incident.

While the Congress charged the BJP with attempting to disrupt its election meetings by resorting to violence through its supporters, the BJP suspected the incident to be a “Congress-sponsored drama” to draw sympathy.

“As stated by the attacker, the slap was an expression of his anger against Hardik for personal reasons and BJP had nothing to do with it. I suspect it could be a Congress-sponsored drama to gain sympathy,” said CM Vijay Rupani.

A middle-aged man, Tarun Gajjar, climbed up the stage from where Hardik, in the presence of local Congress candidate Soma Patel, was addressing the election meeting at Baldana in Surendranagar constituency and slapped him, shouting “you have caused the deaths of 14 Patidar youths and are now playing politics for your personal gains”.

His apparent reference was to the death of 14 Patel youths in police firing during the reservation agitation in 2015. The man was overpowered by Hardik supporters and thrashed before the police intervened and took him away. — OC

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