06 March 2019
Lucknow: In a major embarrassment for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a sitting MP and an incumbent legislator in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly rained blows at each other at an official meeting in Sant Kabir Nagar on Wednesday.
The fact that it happened in the presence of a senior Cabinet Minister Ashutosh Tandon left the ruling party red-faced.
The scuffle took place in full media glare at the district coordination meeting at Sant Kabir Nagar.
Sharad Tripathi, the Lok Sabha member of BJP, lost his cool over his name being omitted from a foundation-laying plaque.
Irked at the response of Rakesh Baghel, a BJP legislator, that it was his choice to do so or not, an infuriated Tripathi rained blows on the unsuspecting legislator as the Minister, other office-bearers and district officials watched helplessly.
As the fight turned ugly and the MP beat up the MLA with a shoe repeatedly, police officials intervened and tried to break the fight even as Tandon, the Cabinet Minister for Medical Education, quietly slipped out of the meeting hall.
Mahendra Nath Pandey, the state BJP chief, reacted to the scuffle by saying that the two party leaders have been summoned to Lucknow on Thursday to explain their conduct and that such indiscipline will not be tolerated.
But apparently the damage was done by then and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav took potshots at the shoe episode.
With the video going viral, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister took a swipe at the ruling party and said that "the episode not only showed the real, indisciplined face of the BJP but also revealed how frustrated its leaders are in the wake of an imminent defeat at the hustings".