Former Uttar Pradesh Minister Swami Prasad Maurya, who is fighting the state assembly elections from Fazilnagar constituency in the Kushinagar district after quitting the BJP, on Tuesday accused the saffron party workers of attacking his convoy during electioneering.
Maurya's daughter Sanghmitra Maurya who is a BJP MP too supported her father's allegation as the Samajwadi Party condemned the alleged attack by “power-protected miscreants”.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav too condemned the alleged attack and vowed to "reduce the BJP to zero in the remaining two phases of the elections' '.
Speaking about the incident, Kushinagar’s District Magistrate S Rajalingam said he got the information that this Maurya’s convoy of around 25 came across a
procession of the BJP supporters near Phulwaria.
There were allegations of sloganeering and stone pelting some video clips showed the windows of some vehicles of Maurya’s convoy damaged, the DM said.
FIRs will be lodged and a probe ordered after getting complaints from both sides, the DM said.
The BJP procession was allowed to proceed first as it had taken permission for it, the DM said, adding the SP candidate was allowed to take only one vehicle along with his car.
Swami Prasad Maurya alleged that the BJP workers, armed with lathis and stones attacked his convoy near Vishupura Khanwa Patti village in Fazilnagar assembly constituency during his roadshow, injuring many of his workers and damaging several vehicles.
He said his driver's ear got damaged in the attack.
The former minister said he escaped unharmed as he was sitting in a different vehicle which managed to get past the miscreants' mob.
"The attack was the part of a planned conspiracy. The BJP people attacked us armed with sticks, arms and stones in a systematic manner," Maurya said.
“My driver's ear got damaged. Many vehicles were damaged and hundreds of our workers were beaten up. I was sitting in another vehicle, hence it moved ahead," he said.
Fazilnagar constituency goes to the polls on March 3 during the sixth phase of the seven-phase UP assembly elections and Tuesday was the last day for the campaigning.
Sanghmitra Maurya who, sources say, has been campaigning for her father for the last three to four days, too supported his allegation.
The damaged vehicles are proof of the attack. Not only this. When I was coming to Fazilnagar after hearing about the attack, the BJP workers surrounded my car too even though I am a BJP MP," she said, accusing the BJP candidate of being behind the attack.
She also appealed to the people of the constituency to vote for her father.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav condemned the attack.
He said in a tweet, "The attack on Swami Prasad Mauryaji is a very condemnable act of the people who are losing."
"This attack is similar to the attack on the workers and the leaders of every party of the SP alliance. Together we will answer this by reducing the BJP to zero in the remaining two phases. It is meaningless to expect any action from this government," he added.
The Samajwadi Party too condemned the attack.
"Battered by the unprecedented public support to the SP, the attack on the convoy of the dalit-backward leader, former minister Swami Prasad Maurya by power-protected miscreants in Fazilnagaris highly condemnable and sad! The Election Commission should take action and get the attackers arrested. People will answer with their votes," it said in a tweet.