Support for Pawar; clash in Ralegan

Updated on Nov 26, 2011 01:38 AM IST

A day after he was assaulted by a 35-year-old man, Union agriculture minister and NCP president Sharad Pawar found himself the talk of Parliament, while his attacker experienced the wrath of NCP workers.

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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondents, New Delhi / Pune

A day after he was assaulted by a 35-year-old man, Union agriculture minister and NCP president Sharad Pawar found himself the talk of Parliament, while his attacker experienced the wrath of NCP workers.

On Friday, before the Lok Sabha met, several members walked up to Pawar's seat in the front benches to express their sympathies and solidarity. Later, Parliament condemned the assault, dubbing it an assault on democracy.

Leaders from all political parties condemned the attack and some also criticised social activist Anna Hazare for his uncharitable remark.

The 72-year-old was addressing a press meet at his residence in Ralegan Siddi in Pune, when media persons apprised him about the incident and sought his reaction. To which he reportedly said, "Eakhi ko mara kya (Was he slapped only for once?)"

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said, "The house expresses its unequivocal disapproval of taking recourse to violent and undemocratic means to express disagreement."

Attacker faces NCP supporters' wrath
Singh, meanwhile, was taken for remand proceedings to Patiala House court. As he was being escorted to the court lockup, around 25 NCP activists tried to assault him. But an unapologetic Singh continued shouting slogans like "Bhagat Singh zindabad, Rajguru zindabad". He also said he would want to repeat what he did.

During the court proceedings, Singh refused to engage any lawyer to defend himself, saying he had no hopes from the government.

Twenty four hours later, Pune was also reeling from Singh's slap. In Hazare's native place Ralegan Siddhi, villagers clashed with NCP workers when the latter arrived in the village to protest against Hazare's comment on the assault on Pawar on Thursday. Later, Hazare said he had already denounced the attack on Pawar.

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