Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Patiala Dr Dharamvira Gandhi was attacked allegedly by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) workers led by a local councillor on Wednesday.He alleged that the assailants, led by Rajinder Singh Virk, SAD councillor from ward number 12, attacked him, his gunman and driver, at Rasoolpura Saidan village in Patiala rural assembly constituency.
Gandhi said SAD workers attacked AAP members in various parts of the constituency during the day, as they feared that he might eat into Akali votes. “As the SAD-BJP alliance realised that it was lagging in the contest, their workers started targeting AAP workers. However, we maintained peace,” he said.
Gandhi, who sustained injuries on the face and the stomach, refused to be taken to hospital and instead sat on dharna on the Patiala-Sirhind highway.
Gandhi was manhandled while he was touring the constituency to oversee voting.
The injured Gandhi called his workers and asked them to hold a peaceful protest. Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Hardial Singh Mann reached the spot and ordered an FIR.
Mann later said. “We have arrested Rajinder Singh Virk under sections 323 (punishment for causing injury voluntarily), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation), 148 (guilty of rioting) and 149 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.”
The AAP called off the protest after the arrest and decided to hold a protest march on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Virk allegedly slapped an AAP polling agent when the latter accused him of casting bogus votes.
CONGRESS FLAYS ATTACK
Union minister of state for external affairs and Congress candidate from Patiala Preneet Kaur and Patiala Rural MLA Brahm Mohindra condemned the attack on Dr Gandhi.
“The attack on the AAP candidate by SAD-BJP activists is highly condemnable and undemocratic,” said Preneet. Mohindra said it was highly condemnable that a peace-loving candidate has been attacked by Akalis.
THREE AAP WORKERS INJURED IN ASSAULT
Three workers of the Aam Aadmi Party were injured in an attack at Jalabaad village near Devigarh in Patiala parliamentary constituency. Kartar Singh has been referred to PGIMER, Chandigarh.
Others injured were identified as Kartar’s brother Shamsher Singh and Gurmeet Singh. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and AAP workers had a heated exchange and came to blows around 5:30pm. SAD men allegedly attacked AAP workers with bricks and wooden sticks.