BJP, Cong. in Gujarat trade charges over “shoe-hurler”

In the run-up to the by-polls in Gujarat, the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress are trading barbs over a man arrested for allegedly hurling a shoe at Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Monday in Karjan.

Each party has accused the other of associating with the local political worker.

The shoe “attack” took place on Monday evening at Kurali village under Karjan taluka of Vadodara when Mr. Patel was addressing the media after a rally. The footwear missed the target and landed a few inches away.

According to the Vadodara district police, the accused, Rashmin Patel, is a resident of Shinor taluka of the district and is a Congress worker. “Based on a specific tip-off, we arrested Rashmin Patel, a Congress worker, for his involvement in throwing a shoe at Nitin Patel,” Vadodara SP Sudhir Desai told media persons after the arrest.

Even before the man’s arrest, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had said that a Congress worker must have been involved.

However, the Congress rejected the police claim. State Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi shared documents with local media to claim that Rashmin Patel was actually a BJP worker and belonged to a dissident group within the party.

“According to this official document of the Gujarat State Election Commission, Rashmin Patel won the Shinor taluka panchayat election on a BJP ticket in 2010. He was also chairman of the executive committee of the taluka panchayat from 2010 to 2013,” Mr Doshi said.

Karjan is among the eight assembly seats going for by-polls on November 3 after their sitting Congress legislators defected to the BJP earlier this year.


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