Noisy scenes in Maharashtra Assembly over assault on Congress MLA

Mumbai: Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Monday witnessed noisy scenes, with a vociferous opposition protesting the alleged assault on a Congress MLA by a BJP councillor in Gondia.

"Since the BJP-led government came to power, their cadres have become so much emboldened that they have now started assaulting even legislators. The BJP-led government must make a statement on the assault," Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat said the government was not justifying the attack on the Congress MLA. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the Assembly that six teams have been formed to nab the BJP councillor who allegedly assaulted the MLA.

Raising the issue in the Lower House, NCP leader Jayant Patil said BJP made a person having criminal cases against him a co-opted councillor in Gondia.

"This shows the depth to which the party has fallen, compared to the lofty heights during Vajpayee era," he said and reminded the government that former BJYM leader Ganesh Pandey, accused of molesting a female party colleague, is yet to be arrested.

Congress MLA from Gondia Gopaldas Agrawal sustained injures on his nose, eyes and cheeks after being allegedly assaulted by BJP councillor Shiv Sharma and his accomplice on Saturday evening.

The legislator's son, Vishal, too was allegedly assaulted by Sharma. The incident took place when Agrawal, Chairman of the Assembly's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), was addressing a press conference at a hotel about development works done by him.

When it was nearing conclusion, Sharma, a nominated BJP councillor of Gondia Municipal Council, entered along with a youth and without saying a word, approached Agrawal. When the Congress MLA asked him about his purpose, Sharma and his accomplice allegedly started hitting him and his son and tore their clothes. Agrawal's bodyguard was outside the hotel when the incident took place.

Making a statement in the Assembly, Fadnavis said the police inspector responsible for the alleged assault on a former NCP MLA and party workers at Satana in Nashik district on April 8 will be transferred.

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