Man who attacked Nitin Gadkari is a BJP worker

Oct 08, 2014, 02:01 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

It has now emerged that the drunk man who had tried to throw a shoe at Nitin Gadkari yesterday, has actually been a party worker for the past 14 years, and hails from the late Gopinath Munde’s village

When an inebriated man attempted to throw a shoe at Nitin Gadkari during a BJP rally at Kothrud yesterday, the party attempted to dismiss the incident as a minor disturbance due to the actions of a random drunk stranger. But it has now emerged that the man, Bharat Karad (37) is no stranger, and has been a BJP party worker for the past 14 years.

Bharat Karad
While the BJP has refused to confirm the details of the incident, the police identified the man as Bharat Karad, a BJP worker who tried to throw a shoe at Gadkari after he was not allowed to get close to the stage

Union minister for Transport and Rural Development Nitin Gadkari was to address the rally along with the local BJP candidate, Medha Kulkarni, when there was suddenly an uproar in the crowd as party workers hauled a man away from the stage and began beating him up.

The BJP’s version of events — even to the police — was that the man was drunk and was moving closer to the stage to shake hands with Gadkari, when party workers intervened. They even denied that he had tried to throw a shoe at the minister.

The party’s city unit decided not to press charges and now the Kothrud police have confirmed that the intoxicated man is actually a party karyakarta who tried to hurl a show at Gadkari in frustration, after he was not allowed to get closer to the stage.

In an added twist, top sources within the party informed mid-day that the accused originally hails from Renapur, the late BJP leader, Gopinath Munde’s native village in Beed district.

“When we checked Karad’s background we found that he belongs to Renapur. Now whether that has any connection with yesterday’s attempt to attack Gadkari, or had he done it under the influence of alcohol is yet to be ascertained,” said a senior BJP leader, on the condition of anonymity.

Interestingly, yesterday the police had said that an FIR would be filed against Karad only if the BJP decided to lodge a complaint, but now they have registered a case against him under Section 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC without waiting for a nod from the party.

Suryakant Kamble, PI at Kothrud police station said, “Though BJP has not lodged any complaint, taking the seriousness of the incident into consideration, we filed an FIR and produced him before court today. The accused has admitted that he has been associated with BJP since past 14 years and he got frustrated after office bearers present on stage did not allow him to come near the dais as he was drunk. He said that he tried to hurl a shoe at the minister in his anger.”

Meanwhile BJP spokesperson for western Maharashtra, Shripad Dhekane rubbished all reports about the incident. “The chapter has already been closed. Gadkari was not at all hurt in the incident, and he himself made it clear that he doesn’t want to file a police complaint,” said Dhekane.

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