Hit Hardik for Shutting Down Gujarat During Rallies, Says Attacker
Hours after Congress leader Hardik Patel was slapped by a man while addressing a Jan Akrosh Sabha in Gujarat’s Wadhwan Surendranagar, on Friday, 19 April, he said the “BJP was trying to kill him like Haren Pandya was murdered and fake encounters were carried out.”
He added, “Man who slapped me is connected to BJP leaders, you can see it on his Facebook profile.”
However, Mahendra Baghedia, SP Surendranagar told ANI: “The man is not affiliated to any party, he is a common man. Law is taking its own course.”
The man, who is seen getting on stage as Patel is speaking, slapped the Congress leader across his face, following which, Patel immediately stopped speaking while the assailant continued to abuse him; chaos ensued as people tried to restrain the man.
Tweeting soon after the attack, Patel said, “I was attacked by the BJP during the meeting. I know there is an attempt to slap today but the BJP will shoot me tomorrow. We raise the voice of the farmers and the youngsters. Jai Hind.”
The assailant, identified as Tarun Gajjar, was later admitted to a hospital after he was thrashed following the incident, reported ANI.
Who is the Man who Slapped Hardik Patel?
In a statement to ANI, Gajjar said that he had decided to teach Hardik Patel a lesson for shutting down all of Gujarat during his rallies.
“My wife was pregnant when the Patidar agitation happened, she was undergoing treatment at a hospital; I had faced problems then. Then again during his rally in Ahmedabad when I had gone to get medicine for my child, everything was shut down. He shuts down the roads, he shuts down Gujarat whenever he wants to – What is he? Gujarat’s Hitler?”Tarun Gajjar to ANI
Patel filed a police complaint at the Wadhwan police station. In a video from the station, Patel can be heard saying that he did not know the man.
‘Attempt to End Hardik’s Life by BJP’: PAAS
In a statement, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti claimed that an attempt was made to end Patel’s life by the BJP.
“Attempts were made to end Hardik Patel’s life by BJP at Surendranagar District today (Friday). Some unknown Hindi-speaking persons were sent to attack him, and the women of the village attacked the assaulter, tore his clothes and brought him to us naked. A knife was found on the attacker.”Brijesh Patel, PAAS Spokesperson
He added, “The villagers said that the attacker wanted to kill Hardik Patel. Earlier this person stayed at the village, saying he is a member of PAAS. The BJP is falling from grace and resorting to activities worse than terrorism.”
‘Hooliganism Against Our Star Campaigner’: Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee
According to a statement by Manoj Doshi of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, the BJP had been trying to sabotage Hardik Patel ever since the Patidar agitation for reservation.
“They ensured that he cannot contest the elections and filed false cases against him. And now the BJP is resorting to hooliganism especially when Hardik is our star campaigner in Gujarat. Hardik Patel is aggressively campaigning against the BJP’s corrupt governance and under no circumstances will Hardik Patel or the Congress bend before their (BJP’s) will,” he said.
(With inputs from ANI)