Union minister Ashwini Choubey comes under ink attack in Patna, faces protest over anti-dengue steps
While the minister was in the hospital, supporters of JAP raised slogan in protest against the government’s alleged apathy in providing relief to Patna’s residents affected by waterlogging and its failure in providing proper medical facilities after the outbreak of vector-borne diseases.Updated: Oct 15, 2019 19:33 IST
A man said to a supporter of former MP Pappu Yadav threw ink at Union minister of state for health, Ashwini Kumar Choubey outside the Patna Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday morning where he had gone to review measures to fight dengue cases in the city, police said.
The youth, who later identified himself as Nishant Jha, claimed to be an office-bearer of the students’ wing of Papu Yadav’s Jan Adhikhar Party (JAP) student’s wing. Yadav, however, denied that the youth was in his party, but justified his action.
Choubey was about to board his vehicle after meeting patients and holding discussions with doctors and hospital officials when the young man carrying a plastic bottle, flung ink at him which landed on his half-sleeve jacket and hand and smeared the vehicle’s bonnet and a window pane.
Two persons one of them wearing a blue T-shirt and black jeans ran away from the scene and although security personnel chased them they could not be caught.
While the minister was in the hospital, supporters of JAP raised slogan in protest against the government’s alleged apathy in providing relief to Patna’s residents affected by waterlogging and its failure in providing proper medical facilities after the outbreak of vector-borne diseases.
A visibly perturbed Choubey later told journalists at the spot “that it is the handiwork of those who used to indulge in crime before entering politics.”
Choubey had initially tried to deflect the ink attack on mediapersons, saying two journalists, who were in the front, took the brunt of the attack while a few drops of ink fell on him as he was in the background.
“In democracy, such an act is considered as one of cowardice. Those who have been doing politics of crime now want to become big leaders. I am sorry, but such elements should not be encouraged by giving them prominence. Such people harbour hopes of joining big political parties,” said Choubey in an oblique reference to Pappu Yadav.
“This was a breach of security and police should thoroughly investigate the matter and book the culprit,” he said.
The man who allegedly threw the ink later spoke to local TV news channels and said he “wanted to vent his anger on behalf of the common people whose voice those in power never listen to.”
He also denied that he got any instruction from his party to throw ink. “It was my personal grudge after the death in a family due to dengue. I was opposing the government for quite some time but nobody was listening to common man’s plight,” he said.
Pappu Yadav denied any link to the man who threw the ink and said there is palpable anger against those in power. “The incident should not be linked to me or my party. It is public outrage that has spilled over,” said Yadav.
Dengue cases in Bihar have so far crossed 1757 this year of which 1273 were reported from Patna till October 14. Dengue has spiked in the state capital after rain between September 27 and 29 triggered a fortnight-long waterlogging in various parts of Patna.