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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Commotion at Jaitley's road show as gas balloons burst

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, March 18, 2014
First Published: 23:04 IST(18/3/2014) | Last Updated: 23:09 IST(18/3/2014)

A bunch of gas balloons burst during the road show of senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley here on Tuesday leading to momentary commotion when he, along with other leaders of the SAD-BJP alliance, was riding an open truck.

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Three-time Rajya Sabha MP, Jaitley arrived by a flight in Amritsar, the constituency from where he will contest his first-ever parliamentary elections replacing cricketer-turned politician Navjot Sidhu, who is a three-time Lok Sabha MP.

The incident occurred when the gas-filled balloons, carried by BJP workers, burst leading to flames in the air as the cavalcade was passing through Novelty Chowk here.

Jaitley was accompanied by Punjab ministers Bikram Majithia and Anil Joshi and state BJP president Kamal Sharma among others in the open-truck cavalcade which took off from the Amritsar airport.

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While Jaitley received minor burns on the hand, 10 people, including state minister Anil Joshi and Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma, suffered burns and some were also rushed to hospital. A few mediapersons also suffered burns.

The incident took place when the supporters of Joshi burst crackers that led to a blast creating panic among leaders and workers. Some leaders left the convoy midway for treatment.

BJP leader Pappu Mahajan and a few supporters were also hospitalised.

Amritsar police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh told HT, "The blast took place after the crackers burnt by BJP workers exploded the balloons. Some leaders and workers received injuries."

To impress Jaitley, BJP workers repeatedly burst crackers at Novelty Chowk even when the traffic was held up.

Earlier, Jaitley was received at the Rajasansi airport by Majithia and Joshi along with his party workers, MLAs and local BJP leaders.

Sitting MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, who made way for Jaitley to contest from Amritsar, was not present when the senior leader arrived here. However, Sidhu's wife and Amritsar East MLA Navjot Kaur was present.

Jaitley also paid obeisance at the Golden Temple.

Later, talking to reporters, Jaitley thanked the party high command for nominating him from Amritsar and said he would serve the people of the holy city.

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