Lucknow, August 21
A shoe was thrown at senior Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya during a party event here on Monday.
The shoe, however, did not reach up to Maurya while SP workers overpowered the alleged assailant and thrashed him.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav blamed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the incident that took place at the party's one-day 'mahasammelan' at the Indira Gandhi Pratishthan.
According to police, the alleged assailant, Akash Saini, came there dressed as a lawyer.
"The accused was taken to a hospital and further details will be known after questioning him," Assistant Commissioner of Police (Lucknow) Aniandy Vikram Singh told PTI.
"We cannot talk to him right now as he is injured due to the beating. He has been referred to Balrampur Hospital and his treatment is going on," the officer told PTI when asked about the background of the assailant.
The SP chief, who was scheduled to address the event but had not reached the venue at the time of the incident, alleged that the assailant was a BJP member.
"The BJP is behind this... A similar incident happened in Ghosi on Sunday and BJP men were behind it. The BJP is targeting us so that we cannot discuss the issue of honour and rights given in the Constitution by Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar," Yadav told reporters.
A man threw ink at former Uttar Pradesh minister and BJP candidate for the Ghosi Assembly bypoll in Mau district Dara Singh Chauhan on Sunday. He told police that he acted at the behest of a local BJP leader.
Police, however, denied his allegation that local BJP leader Prince Yadav had a role in the incident.
"The BJP wants such incidents to happen so that discussions cannot be held on core issues. The BJP talks of zero tolerance (towards crime)... and this is the law and order situation. We all are people's representatives, we are answerable to people. If we are not secure, what will we say to them? If someone comes masquerading as a media person and throws a bomb at us, what will we do?" he said.
Yadav said those leaders who are getting targeted must be given security by the state government.
"In Mau (incident), a BJP worker was involved... there must be a BJP worker behind this (shoe-throwing incident) too," he said.
Maurya, a prominent OBC leader in Uttar Pradesh who had defected to the SP from the BJP just before the 2022 Assembly elections, has been in the thick of a controversy over his remarks on the Ramcharitmanas and Hindu temples.
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