BJP to hold protests in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad against ink attack on minister Chandrakant Patil

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A day after a protester threw ink at Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister and former BJP state president Chandrakant Patil, party workers in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have decided to hold protests and demand stringent action against those behind the attack.

The BJP’s Pune unit will hold a protest in front of the district collector’s office at around 3 pm, while the Pimpri-Chinchwad unit will protest in Pimpri at around 4 pm on Sunday.

The minister was attacked in Chinchwadgaon around 6 pm on Saturday when he stepped out of the residence of a local BJP leader. One person threw ink on Patil’s face while two others raised slogans against his recent controversial remarks on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule. The three have been arrested by the police.

Speaking at a programme in Paithan, Aurangabad on Friday, Patil said: “Those who started schools, Ambedkar, Phule… they did not depend on government aid. They started schools by going to people, and begging, by saying, ‘I’m starting a school, please give me money’.”

Later in the evening, he clarified, “Who started schools? Ambedkar and Phule. This is the truth. What I meant was begging for funds is akin to present-day concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), donations or crowd-funding,” adding that, “Deliberately taking statements out of context or creating controversies over words spoken in vernacular language has become a habit these days.”

BJP spokesperson (Pune) Sandeep Khardekar said the party will hold a demonstration and seek strong action against those behind Saturday’s attack. “What the minister said was wrongly interpreted by some people. The same day, he came before the media and clarified his statement. Similarly, the next day he apologised for his remarks if they had hurt anyone’s sentiments,” he said.

“The minister spoke eloquently about the contribution of national icons like Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Jyotibha Phule and Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil. A major part of his speech was dedicated to hailing the contribution of the national icons in the field of education and the nation’s development. But some people focused only on one word. The minister himself has clarified that he should not have used the word though it is commonly used in rural areas. Despite his apology, he was attacked. This is against the democratic principles of our country,” Khardekar said.

Pimpri-Chinchwad BJP spokesperson Raju Durge said, “We strongly condemn the attack on our senior leader and district guardian minister. This is not Maharashtra’s culture. We are living in a democracy. If anyone has any problem with any remarks or statements made by a minister or a leader, he has several platforms to register his protest. But resorting to throwing ink or attacking the person is against the principles and values enshrined in our Constitution drafted by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.”

Durge said that though the attack happened in the presence of police personnel, the party was not seeking action against them. “Our leader Chandrakant Patil himself said that he was not blaming police personnel for the attack… We will abide by his directives,” he added.



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