Auto-rickshaw driver not manhandled for enquiring about fuel price hike: TN BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan

An auto-rickshaw driver was allegedly pushed and hit by some BJP workers for asking tough questions on the rising fuel prices in Chennai on Monday.

Auto-rickshaw driver not manhandled for enquiring about fuel price hike: TN BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan
Image Credit: Twitter/Soundararjan

CHENNAI: An auto-rickshaw driver was allegedly pushed and hit by some BJP workers for asking tough questions on the rising fuel prices in Chennai on Monday.

According to reports, auto driver Kathir was pushed by BJP leader V Kalidass and hit after he sought to enquire about the rising fuel price hike when party'sTamil Nadu unit chief Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan was fielding questions from reporters on the sidelines of an event organised in connection with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday on Monday.

A video clip purportedly showing the elderly man being shoved aside also went viral on the social media, drawing widespread criticism.

Speaking to ANI later, Kathir said, ''I only tried to vent my grievance. The petrol price hike is hurting drivers like me more. I told her I just wanted to ask a question. I don't know who hurt me, it was dark and after that, the police took me away.''

The auto-rickshaw driver also alleged that the BJP leader talked to media about his drinking habits, which he said was a ''personal problem.''

''I don't want to make an issue out of it. I demand decrease in prices,'' Kathir said.

However, in the wake of intense criticism, Soundararajan paid a visit to the auto-rickshaw driver's residence on Tuesday and enquired about his well-being.

After the visit, Soundararajan told reporters that she called on the driver as a "wrong depiction" was being made out regarding the incident.

She asserted that the man "was not manhandled as is being claimed by some channels. 

''I did not even see him, but I did answer his question," she had told PTI.

The BJP leader also uploaded a video of her visit to Kathir's residence on Twitter in which she can be seen having a casual interaction with him and offering sweets to his family members.

Soundararjan, who was accompanied by her aides, also shared a couple of pictures she shot on the occasion.

Soundararjan had claimed on Monday that since the identity of the man was not known and as it was about 12.30 am, he was taken away by the party workers as part of security measures.

Soundararajan's visit to the auto-rickshaw driver's home came weeks after DMK chief MK Stalin visited employees of a restaurant in Chennai after they were allegedly assaulted by some party workers.

In that case, too, a video of the incident had gone viral, with netizens attacking the DMK.

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