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Senior Congress leader Babaria roughed up as factions in MP squabble

The incident occurred last night at the Circuit House in Rewa, around 490 kms from here, when Babaria was interacting with reporters

Photo: @ANI

Photo: @ANI

Press Trust of India Bhopal
Congress general secretary in-charge of Madhya Pradesh Deepak Babaria was allegedly manhandled by some party 'workers' supporting a faction in Rewa, a party leader said on Monday.
The incident occurred last night at the Circuit House in Rewa, around 490 kms from here, when Babaria was interacting with reporters.
He was responding to a query on the Congress' probable candidate for the chief minister's job, in case the party wins the state assembly elections slated for this year-end.
"Either the state Congress campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia or the state unit party chief Kamal Nath will become the chief minister," Babaria told reporters.
 
When someone questionned Babaria whether the party was considering Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Ajay Singh for the CM's job, he replied, "Whatever you understand", and went inside his room.
As soon as Babaria entered the room, some men, suspected to be workers of a party faction, followed him inside and roughed him up.
Babaria was saved by some Congress workers who allegedly were supporters of Scindia and Nath.
However, Congress leaders denied that the men belonged to the party and blamed the ruling BJP for the incident.
When contacted, Ajay Singh said, "Whatever happened was not right. Strict action should be taken against those involved in the incident. The Congress workers were not involved".
 
State Congress chief media in-charge Shobha Oza said the BJP was behind the incident.
"Those involved in the attack were not Congressmen, but the anti-social elements sponsored by the BJP," she said.
Meanwhile, state Home Minister Bhupendra Singh today wrote a letter to Babaria, stating that the government is ready to provide security to "protect him from the Congress leaders and workers".
"I came to know through media reports that Congress workers have allegedly manhandled you at Rewa yesterday. Earlier also similar incidents were reported. I am extremely worried about these incidents. I assure you that Madhya Pradesh government will ensure adequate security for you," the home minister stated.
However, Oza lashed out at Singh over the letter.
"Instead of expressing concern for Babaria, the home minister should pay attention to and try to check rising crimes like rape against women in Madhya Pradesh," she said.
The Congress, which has been out of power in the central state since 2003, has not projected any chief ministerial candidate so far, given the factionalism in the state party unit.
There have been talks of internal factionalism in the state Congress and its workers are said to be divided among four factions -- headed by general secretary Digvijay Singh, Nath, Scindia and Suresh Pachori.

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First Published: Jul 30 2018 | 9:05 PM IST

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