Panaji, A ‘Gandhigiri’ bid by Congress workers to placate BJP workers protesting on Friday against the Congress leadership’s strident attack over the Rafale deal went awry, after state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar allegedly flung a ‘thali of samosas’ and flowers, triggering commotion.
An FIR and a counter FIR have been registered at the Panaji police station by BJP and Congress workers respectively.
Tendulkar in turn has alleged that Congress workers assaulted and flung objects at his party workers protesting near the Opposition party’s office near Panaji as part of a nationwide campaign organised by the BJP slamming the Congress on the Rafale deal in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling last week.
According to a First Information Report (FIR) filed by state Congress women’s wing president Pratima Coutinho, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers allegedly assaulted women workers of her party during the commotion which followed on Friday evening.
“At the time when the leaders approached us, we maintained calm and peacefully welcomed them and offered them refreshments and flowers. Seeing our gesture, the BJP party president Vinay Tendulkar got furious and flung the ‘thali of samosas’ which was presented to him towards the face of the Congress worker. Thereafter, the bouquet of flowers which was presented was also thrown away,” Coutinho said in her FIR at the Panaji police station.
The FIR filed against unnamed BJP workers has been registered under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 323 (causing hurt), 504 (breach of peace), 509 (outraging modesty of women), 354 (criminal assault) of the Indian Penal Code.A
In a counter FIR filed by BJP worker Kavita Kandolkar, she has alleged that Congress workers flung bottles, ‘samosas’ and wood pieces at BJP workers in a bid to provoke and assault them.
Tendulkar, who also held a press conference late on Friday, however alleged that it was Congress workers who had started provoking and attacking BJP workers who were staging a peaceful protest.
“As part of our nationwide campaign, we were peacefully protesting against the attack by the Congress on our Prime Minister and the Central government over the Rafale issue. It was their workers who started attacking us. Coutinho even flung the bouquet at our workers, in a bid to provoke them,” Tendulkar told reporters at the press conference held at the state BJP headquarters.