Varanasi: In an embarrassment for the Akhilesh Yadav government, UP Minister Surendra Patel was caught on camera slapping a youth during a programme at his residence in the district.
Patel was caught on camera slapping a youth when attempts were being made to restore order during a blanket distribution programme at his Raja Talab residence yesterday.
However, the minister has denied that any such incident took place.
Patel claimed the youth seen in the video is his 24-year-old nephew, Rajit Patel, whom he "patted" while asking him to bring more blankets for distribution among the people who were present there.
Sources said Patel had personally organised the programme for distributing 10,000 blankets which drew huge crowds at his residence.
The Superintendent of Police (Traffic) OP Pandey along with cops from three police stations were present at the spot and mild force was also used to manage the crowd.
It was in the ensuing scuffle the minister was seen slapping a youth and one other in agitation.
The Minister told a news agency that no such programme was organised "but somehow a wrong message was sent and unprecedented crowd reached which also became unmanageable."
"As there was no programme organised and media not invited it is nothing but a conspiracy by my political opponents who managed a section of media to malign my image," he added.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had asked his ministers to restraint during interaction specially with the media.