BJP hints at Congress leader’s role in attack on MP CM Shivraj Chouhan’s bus

The BJP’s state unit president Rakesh Singh said those who were shaken because of the massive support of people to the Jan Ashirvad Yatra in Patpura resorted to stone pelting like cowards.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2018 14:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
BJP,Shivraj Chouhan,Attack on Shivraj Chouhan's bus
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan’s bus that was damaged after miscreants pelted stones at it on Sunday.(HT Photo)

The BJP accused Congress leader Ajay Singh of Sunday’s attack on Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s bus in Sidhi district during his tour of the state ahead of the assembly elections, a charge denied by the leader of opposition in the state assembly.

The chief minister said he couldn’t be frightened off by any power in the world without naming Ajay Singh, who is the son of former Union minister Arjun Singh, in a public meeting after the incident in Patpura under the Congress leader’s Churhat assembly constituency. Patpura is 672 kilometres northeast of state capital Bhopal.

“Ajay Singh, if you have strength come in open and fight with me. I am physically weak but I won’t be bogged down by your deeds. People of the state are with me,” Chouhan said.

The BJP’s state unit president Rakesh Singh said those who were shaken because of the massive support of people to the Jan Ashirvad Yatra in Patpura resorted to stone pelting like cowards.

Ajay Singh, however, condemned the incident in a handwritten statement issued to the media late at night and said it was not Congress’ and his culture to resort to violence against his opponents.

“Yeh ghatna nindniya hai. Isme ek bhi Congressjan shamil nahi hain. Mujhe ashanka hai ki yeh jaan boojhkar rachi gayi sajish hai jo Churhat ki janata aur mujhe badnaam karne ke liye rachi gayi hai (The incident is condemnable. Not a single Congressman is involved in this. My apprehension is that this is a well thought out conspiracy hatched to defame the people of Churhat and me,” he said in the statement.

The BJP’s state media in charge Lokendra Parashar said Chouhan was sitting in the bus, which has been modified as a chariot for the Jan Ashirvad Yatra, when stones were hurled at it in Patpura. No one was injured in the incident but the window pane on the driver’s side was damaged, Parashar said.

Sources in the BJP said a group of protesters waved black flags and shouted slogans against Chouhan and reservation at his public meeting earlier in the day in Mayapur of the same district.

Inspector general of police (Rewa zone) Umesh Joga said they have arrested 28 people in connection with the stone pelting and the slogan shouting incidents so far.

“Eight persons have been arrested for pelting stones at the chief minister, while 20 persons, including women, have been arrested for showing black flags,” he said.

Joga said the arrested people had wrapped the stones in black cloth making the police believe that they would just wave them when the chief minister went by. “But suddenly they started pelting stones. Some of the group members also made the video of stone pelting viral on social media,” the senior official added.

(With input from Harendra Singh Parihar in Rewa and Amit Singh in Satna)

First Published: Sep 03, 2018 14:24 IST