A Congress MLA in Gujarat who went “missing” last evening, prompting a post-midnight tweet from Rahul Gandhi, alleged this morning that he spent the night in a forest after being attacked with swords by a mob led by his BJP rival.
The BJP has not responded to the allegation yet.
Kanti Kharadi is seeking re-election from Danta in Gujarat’s Banaskantha, which is among the 93 seats voting today in the second phase of the Gujarat election. He has filed an FIR against the BJP candidate from the seat, Ladhu Parghi.
He claims that he “escaped” after the alleged attack and hid in a forest for hours. He also said he had been to the hospital for treatment.
“I was attacked by the BJP candidate and 150 of his goons with swords around 9.30 pm. They would have killed me, so I ran and hid in a jungle for three-four hours. The police found me after three-four hours,” Mr Kharadi told NDTV.
He alleged that he was going to his voters when the BJP candidate and his “goons” blocked his car and surrounded him.
“They blocked us, then we turned the car, and another car blocked us from the other side. Then we left the car and ran. We thought we must escape, we ran for 10-15 km,” said the Congress MLA.
He also claimed he had been threatened earlier by the BJP candidate and that his request to the Election Commission for protection had been denied.
Late last night, Rahul Gandhi tweeted that Mr Kharadi was missing.
“Congress tribal leader and Danta assembly candidate Kantibhai Kharadi was brutally attacked by BJP goons and is now missing. Congress had demanded deployment of paramilitary force in addition to the Election Commission, but the Commission slept on it. Listen, BJP – we are not afraid, we will not be afraid, we will fight hard,” wrote the Congress MP.
Gujarat Congress leader Jignesh Mewani also tweeted that Mr Kharadi had been attacked because the BJP feared defeat.
“An attempt was made to kill him while intercepting his four-wheeler. The vehicle overturned. Still, Kantibhai Kharadi is missing,” he said in the tweet.
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