Visakhapatnam: While world celebrated International Women’s Day, the scion of Vizianagaram and former Union minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju allegedly manhandled a woman party worker during a campaign in Vizianagaram on Monday.
The incident shocked the entire region and activists condemned the action.
TD workers led by Ashok were campaigning at Nagavamsapu Veedhi 14th division in Vizianagaram along with a large number of women. According to video clips shown by news channels and social media platforms, Ashok was seen telling all to not shower petals on him. "Do you want to send me to hospital," he asked them angrily.
He repeated the question and allegedly manhandled a woman.
Local leaders and cadres who were with Ashok Gajapathi Raju were shocked and sent the woman away.
Ashok later told party workers that the woman did it on him deliberately. She has not been identified. Later, the campaign went ahead, led by Ashok Gajapathi Raju.
Superintendent of police of Vizianagaram B Raja Kumari denied Ashok Gajapathi Raju manhandling the woman. “The camphor fire flared up and Ashok tried to douse it. He never slapped her, according to our inquiry,’’ the superintendent said.
The former minister’s close relative Sanchaita Gajapati Raju condemned the incident in her tweet. She said “What way to observe Women's Day! The patriarchal arrogance was manifest in Ashok. What more can we expect from a man like him,’’ she said.
Former TD MLA from Vizianagaram Meesala Gita said if the incident was true it should be condemned in strongest terms.