Uttar Pradesh police lodged a complaint against 158 people for allegedly misbehaving with Union Minister and Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel during a road show in Pratapgarh district of the state.
“An FIR was registered against local leader Vinod Dubey and over 157 others last night for allegedly misbehaving with Patel and Apna Dal workers during their party’s roadshow,” a senior police office said. The FIR has been lodged at Raniganj police station.
The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon when Apna Dal workers were on a roadshow with the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, and party leader, RK Verma. Police said the procession came face to face with supporters of Mr Dubey, who is planning to contest the state assembly polls as an independent candidate.
Political workers of both parties argued loudly before clashes broke out.
The union minister has alleged that the incident was not isolated and was part of a conspiracy to disturb her procession.
“I think it was a conspiracy (of the ruling Samajwadi Party). I was not provided adequate security, despite complaining about it. Both district magistrate, and superintendent of police didn’t reach the spot immediately,” Ms Patel said.
She said if such was the response of the police and administration to a complaint by a minister, the “one can easily understand the plight of common people regarding law and order matters.”
Following the incident, angry Apna Dal workers blocked traffic on the Raebareli – Varanasi highway on Sunday, with Ms Patel leading the protests.
It was only after a police complaint was lodged against Mr Dubey that Ms Patel left, though her party workers continued to protest till early hours of Monday morning.