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Hawkers’ corner bhoomi pujan in Bhopal: Congress, BJP workers scuffle for credit as Mayor watches on

Congress objects to non-invitation to local MLA to event; banners of ex-BJP legislator at site.

Staff Reporter | Updated on: Sunday, January 19, 2020, 10:40 PM IST

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BHOPAL: A bhoomi pujan turned into a bear garden after workers of BJP and Congress were locked in a fisticuff on Sunday. It all happened in front of Bhopal Mayor Alok Sharma on the day.

The drama started at around 10 am when the mayor visited the site at MANIT square for the bhoomi pujan of a hawkers’ corner and other projects.

Kamla Nagar police have registered FIRs on the cross complaints filed by workers of the two parties.

BJP workers said that though they wanted bhoomi pujan to be performed at the hands of Mayor, they had invited local MLA and law minister PC Sharma to perform the ceremony but he never turned up.

The BJP workers had reached the venue at MANIT square around 10am and after waiting over for three hours for the minister’s arrival, the mayor and BJP workers went ahead with the ceremony. Objecting to this Congress workers to intervened and tried to stop the bhoomi pujan in absence of Sharma, who is the local MLA. This led to scuffle between workers of the two parties.

Insisting that bhoomi pujan of the project cannot be performed in absence of the local MLA, the Congress workers tried to stop the ceremony.

Congress workers objected to use of photographs of former MLA and minister Umashankar Gupta at the venue. They also alleged that the BJP leaders had allotted space at the hawkers’ corner that was yet to be inaugurated. The allotment at hawkers’ corner was to be conducted through tendering but BJP allotted the space to their members flouting the rule, alleged local Congress leaders.

Wanted Sharma to perform bhoomi pujan, but he dint come: Mayor

Mayor Alok Sharma said, “We wanted the local MLA and law minister PC Sharma to perform the bhoomi pujan but he did not turn up despite our invitation.” Congress does not want us to even perform the bhoomi pujan of the projects undertaken during our tenure, alleged Mayor. “If this continued, I will file a complaint at higher level, as the ward where the bhoomi pujan was to be performed was a BJP ruled ward and all the development work there was done by the local BJP corportaor Laxmi Gorewar…. Congress workers tried to attack our partymen but we saved ourselves,” said Mayor.

Congress worker attacked girl: BJP corporator

Local corproator Laxmi Gorewar said one of the Congress workers allegedly attacked a girl who was trying to stop them from removing a banner at the site. The corporator said when they went to Kamla Nagar police station seeking intervention in the matter, they found Congress leaders sitting inside the chamber.

Rules flouted in space allotment: Cong corporator

Congress corporator Pradeep Saxena alleged the BJP partymen had already occupied space inside the hawkers’ corner. The space was to be duly allotted hawkers and tender were to be called for it, but the rule has not been followed, alleged the corporator.“Not only there but even at Bhadbhada, BJP workers had put up flexes and banners with images of Umashankar Gupta who is not even an MLA,” said Saxena. He claimed that local MLA PC Sharma was not invited to the event by BJP.

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Published on: Monday, January 20, 2020, 04:45 AM IST