UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh showers flower petals on MLA who backed Ballia firing accused

Ballia (UP): Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh has been caught on camera showering flower petals on the party's Bairia MLA Surendra Singh, days after serving him a notice for his statements supporting the main accused in the firing incident at Durjanpur village here.

The video which went viral on Saturday shows Swatantra Dev Singh participating in a 'bhumi pujan' programme of a Krishna temple at Kathauda village in Sikanderpur area. Both the leaders are seen sitting side by side in the footage.

The state BJP chief is seen showering flower petals on Surendra Singh, who acknowledges it with folded hands. On being asked about the video, BJP's Salempur MP Ravindra Kushwaha, who was also present at the event on Friday, told reporters that only Swatantra Dev Singh can elaborate on his actions.

Earlier this week, the state unit of the BJP had issued a show cause notice to MLA Surendra Singh for issuing statements in support of Dhirendra Pratap Singh, a local party leader who has been arrested for allegedly killing a man. The legislator was given a week's time to respond to the notice.

Surendra Singh had come out in open support of Dhirendra Pratap Singh, who allegedly shot dead a 46-year-old man in Ballia's Durjanpur village following a quarrel over the allotment of ration shops on October 15.

The Bairia MLA had defended the accused, saying that the latter "opened fire in self-defence" as "it was a do-or-die situation for him". He had also accused the administration of bias and demanded that action be taken against the other side. Meanwhile, Swatantra Dev had said that BJP national president J P Nadda had sought information about the matter.

Despite being served a notice, the Bairia MLA continued to extend his support to Dhirendra Singh, who is said to be the district unit president of the BJP ex-servicemen cell. The MLA had also recently claimed that he met senior BJP leaders in the past few days and that everyone backed him.

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