A Maharashtra Minister was at the centre of a controversy today after he allegedly kicked a party worker over the issue of ticket distribution for next month's Aurangabad Municipal Corporation elections.
The Minister of State for PWD, Abdul Sattar first denied that he had assaulted the worker but later said the incident was regrettable, saying he had to act in "self-defence".
Asked about TV footages which purportedly showed him kicking the worker on his stomach, Sattar claimed, "There was an attack on me, abuses were hurled at my party, still you say it way my fault. Fine, I say sorry. But it's not my fault".
Later, making a statement in the Lower House, Sattar denied that he had assaulted anyone. He said some anti-social elements entered the venue where the press conference was being held.
"They abused my party workers and I had to intervene. They hurled crude abuses at me. I had to act in self-defence," he said.
The issue figured in the Assembly with Chief Minister Ashok Chavan saying the minister would be asked to clarify in the House.
"Such incidents whether it is outside the Legislative assembly or inside is wrong," Chavan noted.
The Chief Minister later said he had seen television clippings. "The incident is unfortunate, what I have seen.. Sattar has met me..and he also regrets the incident".
"Incidents like this malign the image of the government and the minister concerned is member of the Legislative assembly," Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse said.
Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil said, "kicking the gates of Vidhan Bhavan is also not correct."
He was referring to the incident on Saturday when independent MLA Bacchu Kadu kicked the rear gate of Vidhan Bhawan to protest against the security's denial of permission to his supporters to enter the premises.