The attempted shoe attack on Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday shows an element of desperation within the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), party spokesman Manish Tiwari said.
Sunil Kumar, in his 30s, came very close to Dwivedi at the dais, threateningly rasing his shoe. But Dwivedi pushed him away. Immediately, a security guard caught Kumar and journalists present at the conference pounced upon him. Kumar, who was whisked away by security men.
Sunil Kumar, whom security men whisked away, claimed he worked with the Navsanchar Patrika, a magazine based in Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan. The magazine, however, said that he was not associated with it but was a teacher in the town.
"The manner and tenor in which he (assailant) was asking question was very abrasive. Then he decided to get on to the dais and started brandishing his shoe. While he was doing that, journalists present in the meeting collared him and dragged him out. He was hysterical and we couldn't make out what he was saying," said Tewari, who was sitting beside Dwivedi at the time of the incident.
"It is pretty obvious given the facts that there is an element of desperation in the RSS and the BJP. I wouldn't really put it past that when the investigations take place, the person eventually emerges to be an RSS or BJP activist because these tactics are not alien to the way they do their politics," he added.
Calling the attack "orchestrated", Tewari said: "It's obvious that somebody decided to smuggle himself to the Congress briefing and strategically placed himself at the door because invariably no journalist positions himself there because you neither get a sight of the dais nor are you able to catch the eye of the person who is briefing. It was an orchestrated, pre-meditated attack."
Dwivedi was busy slamming yoga guru Ramdev and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Congress headquarters here when the incident took place in the full view of TV cameras. It is the latest in a string of shoe-related assaults or bids to attack public figures in India.
After the incident, Sunil Kumar was taken to the Tughlak Road police station. The Congress leader later continued with his address to the media.