The Mira-Bhayander unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was left red-faced as two of its leaders came to blows in front of hundreds at the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation on Friday afternoon.
The two — sitting corporator Ravi Vyas and the chief of the party’s youth wing Vinod Shinde — fought over who would accompany the mayor to meet a senior Bohri Muslim community leader in Bhayander. Even worse, the fight was witnessed by the mayor, who is also from the BJP.
Mayor Geeta Jain was set to meet the leader when Shinde arrived with a few supporters to accompany her, said sources. Meanwhile, Vyas arrived at the spot, causing Shinde to object. “The venue was already crowded with members of the Bohri community who were eager to meet their leader. Hence, I objected to Vyas’ presence,” said Shinde.
A heated argument ensued, which culminated in blows. The mayor then acted as a mediator between the two groups.
Shinde later approached the Bhayander police and registered a complaint against six people, including Vyas. However, no arrests have been made yet.
“There was no reason for Shinde to object to my presence at the religious meet. One of my supporters’ bones got fractured in the scuffle. That should tell you who assaulted whom,” said Vyas.
Jain termed the situation an “unfortunate incident”.
Police inspector Rajendra Kamble of the Bhayander police station said a case of rioting and assault was registered against six people. “We will soon call them in for questioning,” he added.
Party sources said Vyas is set to file a cross-complaint against Shinde.
The Opposition, as well as other political parties, have jumped into the fray and stated voters can expect similar incidents from the party in the run up to the civic polls.