Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya faced protests on Saturday, 22 January, when he visited his constituency Sirathu as part of the BJP's campaign for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.
According to the visuals that have gone viral since, Maurya was gheraoed by locals when he visited the house of Zilla Panchayat member Poonam Maurya, whose husband Rajeev Maurya has been missing for the past five days.
Visuals also showed Maurya gesturing to the protesters to be silent as they raised slogans against him. Maurya was reportedly visiting Sirathu for the first time after he was declared a candidate from the constituency.
Speaking to reporters, Poonam Maurya said, "We did not protest against the Deputy CM. We don't know who the protesters were and what they said. I apologise to the Deputy CM for the ruckus that was created."
According to a report in the National Herald, the protesters were upset over the disappearance of Rajeev and irked by the police inaction in the case.
BJP MLA Sanjay Gupta, however, said that the deputy CM was personally looking into the missing case. Maurya had also, reportedly, asked authorities to find Rajeev soon.
"Anti-social elements tried to create a ruckus when he had gone to meet Rajeev's kin. But they failed. And now, Rajeev's wife Poonam has distanced herself from the protesters," he said.
Meanwhile, the Opposition alleged that people were protesting as they were not happy with the BJP government in the state.
Kapish Srivastava, the spokesperson of the Samajwadi Party (SP), said, "Nobody will be able to forget how Keshav Prasad Maurya faced protests from the people of his own constituency Sirathu. That's because people know that he has not done anything for society. His motto is Sabka Saath, Apna Vikas. It is evident from all sections that the people of Uttar Pradesh are miffed with the BJP government."
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, which will take place in seven phases beginning 10 February, will see parties contesting in 403 Assembly constituencies.
(With inputs from National Herald.)