Nine Congress leaders arrested for assaulting Gandhinagar Mayor
Ahmedabad; Newly elected Gandhinagar Mayor Pravin Patel, who had defected from Congress to BJP recently, was allegedly thrashed by some Congress leaders and corporators after which nine of them were arrested, police said today.
The incident took place yesterday outside Patel's office at Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) complex where he was allegedly abused and manhandled by a bunch of Congress leaders and workers, inspector of Sector-7 Police Station K M Priyadarshi said.
"As many as nine leaders were arrested late last night. All of them have been released on bail early this morning. Some of them also sustained minor injuries," the officer said, adding Patel was briefly hospitalised after the brawl.
The nine leaders include state Congress general secretary Nishith Vyas, Gandhinagar district president Suryasinh Dabhi, city president Kaushik Shah and corporator Shailendrasinh Bihola among others.
Patel crossed over to BJP at the last moment helping the party win the polls to Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation last month.
Meanwhile, Congress workers alleged that they had gathered at Patel's office to oppose his appointment as the mayor in a peaceful manner.
In his FIR, Patel alleged that Congressmen, including some women, attacked him outside his office. He alleged he was first verbally abused and then punched several times by Congress leaders as part of a "pre-planned strategy".
However, Congress alleged that they were thrashed by Patel and some other BJP corporators at the spot.
"We were staging peaceful protest outside the mayor office yesterday afternoon. It was Patel who manhandled one of our female workers and threatened us. Sadly, police took only Patel's complaint and refused to take ours," Nishith Vyas said after coming out on bail.
"We were protesting because Patel back-stabbed people of Gandhinagar who gave an equal mandate to both the parties. Due to Patel's unethical move, BJP grabbed power and rewarded Patel with Mayor's post. We have been beaten up outside his office at the behest of senior leaders of Gujarat BJP," he alleged.
In the polls to 32 seats of the civic body, both BJP and the Congress won 16 seats.
On May 6, when the decision as to who will form the board was to be taken through draw of lots, Patel switched sides, putting BJP in majority with 17 seats. He was also made the Mayor.
Congress has been holding Patel responsible for not adhering to people's mandate and accused the ruling party of engaging in "unethical practices".