MP Congress leader ‘assaulted’: FIRs against Bhind MLA, party demands fair polls

A scuffle broke out when Congress workers were staging a protest against the presence of Bhind MLA Narendra Singh Kushwaha in Kolaras on Thursday.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2018 21:18 IST
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Madhya Pradesh bypoll,MP bypolls,Congress
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia take part in a road show before a public meeting ahead of Kolaras bypoll, in Madhya Pradesh.(PTI Photo)

Two FIRs were lodged against Bhind MLA Narendra Singh Kushwaha on Thursday night for “overstaying” in Kolaras assembly constituency despite prohibitory orders and allegedly assaulting Congress candidate Mahendra Singh Yadav’s son, Lokendra Yadav, police said.

The first FIR was initiated by the police under Section 188 of IPC, while the second FIR was lodged by Lokendra. Earlier, Kushwaha, too, had lodged FIRs against the Congress leader’s son and his relatives for allegedly attacking him and damaging his car.

“Both sides have lodged FIRs. Arrests will follow. However, no money was found in the Bhind MLA’s jeep as had been alleged. Wrong information is doing the rounds on social media that an FIR had been lodged against 150 Congressmen,” said Sunil Pandey, superintendent of police (SP), Shivpuri district.

“There is no law and order problem. What happened on Thursday night was just an isolated incident,” he added.

Trouble began late on Thursday evening when Congress workers were staging a protest against the presence of Kushwaha in the constituency after the end of the campaign at 5pm. The workers also demanded that the police search Kushwaha’s vehicle as they suspected cash inside, but the cops failed to do so. According to them, the police made an attempt to defend Kushwaha and allegedly allowed his driver to flee the spot with the money. This enraged the locals on the spot and they pelted stones at the jeep. They also claimed that the police caned the Congress workers in a bid to divert their attention from the MLA resulting in injuries to Mahendra Singh Yadav.

The SP, however, said the police had to resort to mild lathicharge to bring the situation under control, as the protesters “misbehaved” with the police force.

BJP MLA from Bhopal Rameshwar Sharma, who is coordinating the party campaign in Kolaras, rubbished the allegations as “baseless”.

Protesting against the incident, Congress workers on Friday staged a dharna before the collector’s residence in Shivpuri, demanding action against BJP leaders.

Senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia raised the issue with chief election commissioner OP Rawat in Delhi and demanded a free and fair election, Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said.

In a series of tweets on Friday, Scindia said BJP was so upset on seeing its imminent defeat that even when Kushwaha was caught red-handed distributing money, the police indulged in goondaism under the BJP’s pressure. He said this was nothing but shameful for democracy that BJP was using money and muscle power and also the police and administration.

Meanwhile, state BJP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission accusing Brajendra Singh Yadav, Congress MLA from Mungaoli, of distributing money among voters at Bahadurpur. A picture was also submitted along with the complaint to support the claim, state BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said. When contacted, the Congress candidate rubbished the charges, saying the picture had been photoshopped in a bid to defame him.

Pralay Shrivastava, the spokesperson for chief electoral officer’s office, said a report had been sought from the collector, Ashok Nagar, on the BJP’s complaint.

Police said BJP MLA from Sagar district Shailendra Jain was arrested and his vehicle seized on Friday when he was found staying in the constituency after the election campaign was over.

Kolaras and Mungaoli assembly constituencies, both under Guna parliamentary constituency, go to polls on February 24.

(With input from Ranjeet Gupta in Shivpuri)

First Published: Feb 23, 2018 21:18 IST