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MPs stripped of wallets

They had ventured out to save the common man?s pocket from the effects of the petroleum price hike announced by the UPA Government.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 03:26 IST

They had ventured out to save the common man’s pocket from the effects of the petroleum price hike announced by the UPA Government.

Ironically,the Opposition leaders and MPs ended up getting their own pockets picked by pickpockets who took away over 50 mobile phones and other items at a protest rally in the heart of the capital. After a high-profile demonstration against increase in fuel prices, led by BJP top bosses Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K.Advani and other NDA leaders, nearly two dozen MPs discovered that their cellphones had vanished from their pockets.

Many other demonstrators, including several BJP MLAs from Delhi, too, lost their phones at the rally which took place near Jantar Mantar in Delhi’s heavily-guarded VIP zone.

Besides, there were also some complaints of wallets and other accessories being whisked away by pickpockets who apparently had no qualms about filching VIPs wallets in the crowd. Among those who lost their cellphones were BJP spokesmen Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad, party chief whip in Rajya Sabha S.S.Ahluwalia, veteran leader Pyarelal Khandelwal, JD(U) spokesman Shambhu Srivastwa and general secretary K.C.Tyagi. Narrating their tale of woe, Javadekar and Prasad said that most of them suspected that their pockets were picked in the melee when courted arrest near at a little distance from the Parliament Street police station.

Lamenting the loss of cellphones numbers, the leaders said they had quickly moved to get their connections deactivated to prevent misuse. A joke doing the rounds at the party headquarters was whether it was a Congress “conspiracy” to divert media attention from the BJP protest.

First Published: Jun 13, 2006 03:26 IST