Ahmedabad: Congress leader Hardik Patel was slapped by a man on Friday when he was addressing a poll rally in a village in Surendranagar district of Gujarat. An angry Patel blamed the BJP for the incident and said this was an attempt to kill him. However, the BJP leaders said they have nothing to do with the incident which they termed as a staged drama by the Congress to gain sympathy ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
The man, identified as Tarun Gajjar, a resident of Kadi town of Mehsana district, suffered injuries after he was thrashed by Congress workers, Patel supporters and others at the rally venue, around 130 km from here.
He is currently undergoing treatment as he was badly thrashed by people at the rally, said police inspector of Wadhwan, H. R. Jethi.
Gajjar said he is not associated with any political party and slapped the Patidar quota leader due to personal reasons.
As soon as Hardik Patel started his speech at Baldana village under Wadhwan taluka, Mr Gajjar suddenly came on the stage and slapped him.
The incident was captured in cameras of news channels covering the event in the district, around 130km from here.
Congress candidate for the Surendranagar Lok Sabha seat, Soma Patel, was present on the dais when Mr Patel was slapped. Gajjar appeared angry and was seen saying something to Mr Patel after slapping him.
Gajjar was overpowered by Congress workers, Hardik Patel supporters and others present at the rally, who also beat him up. The police intervened and freed Gajjar and took him to a safer place in their vehicle, said Mr Jethi.
He later explained the reason for attack. He said his wife was pregnant at the time of the Patidar agitation and was receiving treatment at a hospital, and he had faced problems then.
In a video of the incident, Gajjar can be seen being mercilessly thrashed by both women and men, who also tore his cloths, before policemen intervened and took him away. Following the incident, Mr Patel lodged a complaint with the police.
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