Somnath Bharti attacked by alleged BJP workers in Varanasi

AAP leader Somnath Bharti was attacked this evening allegedly by BJP workers near Assi ghat while he was returning from a TV show that featured him.

hidden April 23, 2014 22:50:10 IST
Somnath Bharti attacked by alleged BJP workers in Varanasi

Varanasi: AAP leader Somnath Bharti was attacked this evening allegedly by BJP workers near Assi ghat while he was returning from a TV show that featured him.

The windows of Bharti's car were also smashed and the driver was allegedly assaulted, according to AAP's Varanasi coordinator Ramanand Rai. Bharti suffered minor injuries, Rai said.

The attack on the former Delhi Law Minister came on a day when AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal filed his nomination papers for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat from where BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is his chief rival. Modi, who is also contesting from Vadodara in Gujarat, is due to file his papers tomorrow.

Somnath Bharti attacked by alleged BJP workers in Varanasi

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"Some 20 people gheraoed Bharti's vehicle and attacked his car breaking its window pane," claimed Rai.

Rai said Bharti went to Assi ghat for a poll-related programme arranged by a channel where BJP supporters took objections to the statements made by him.

"Although AAP volunteers tried to pacify BJP workers, they assaulted Bharti who suffered minor injuries. They also used abusive language. Two AAP volunteers and Bharti's driver were also hurt in the melee," he said.

After getting first aid, Bharti went to Bhelupur police station to register a complaint. However, Rai later said he did not register any complaint and "forgave" his attackers.

Bharti said he was "shaken" by the attack. "Modi ji has started his bloody game even before he has filed his nomination. One who is a follower of violent politics has shown a trailer even before nomination.

How will the movie be if he comes to power? He will unleash bloodshed for which he is well known," Bharti told reporters.

"Modi ji believes in blood politics....he can go to any extent in his pursuit to become PM," Bharti tweeted. BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that although he does not have any information about the attack on Bharti, the party does not approve of any kind of violence.

"Campaigning should be peaceful. The party does not approve any kind of violence," Prasad said. Bharti is in Varanasi to campaign for the former Delhi Chief Minister.

This is not the first time that AAP and BJP workers have clashed in Varanasi. Last week, AAP activists had an altercation with volunteers of BJP when Kejriwal's car was allegedly stopped by BJP workers.

As the election battle hots up, volunteers of both the parties have started gathering in Varanasi to campaign for their respective parties in what is likely to be a tense showdown. Voting in Varanasi will take place in the ninth and final phase of Lok Sabha polls on 12 May.

PTI

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