Union minister SP Singh Baghel has been given Z category security by the government after his convoy was attacked with stones and sticks near Attikullapur village in Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday evening, reported India Today.
Notably, Baghel is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from the Karhal assembly constituency, from where Samajwadi Party (SP) chief and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav is also contesting.
Speaking to news agency ANI, SP Singh Baghel said, "Today during election campaigning, when I was travelling from Kabrai via Attikullapur to Karhal, then in between the route, suddenly some people came out from the fields and attacked. They were sloganeering 'Akhliesh bhaiya zindabaad' when they attacked. They had lathis (sticks) and iron rods."
He further said that one person who revealed his name, had said that the "minister should not be spared today." "One person said that he is Uma Kant Yadav, said that you are fighting elections against our leader. He further said that today the minister should not be spared and then attacked. When security from my convoy got out of the car, they (attackers) ran. Then one of them (of the attackers) fired at one of the cars of the convoy," the minister said.
Meanwhile, after the incident, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya alleged that the convoy was attacked by Samajwadi Party goons.
"The attack on the convoy of Union Minister S P Singh Baghel, BJP candidate from Mainpuri's Karhal assembly constituency, by Samajwadi Party goons has shown the real character of the party," the Deputy Chief Minister tweeted in Hindi.
He further claimed that BJP MP Geeta was also attacked on Monday.
"Yesterday, BJP MP Geeta Shakya was also attacked. Strict action will be taken against the culprits of both the incidents," Maurya said.
He further alleged that Akhilesh Yadav with the help of this party "goons" attacked the Union Minister fearing defeat in Karhal.
"Akhilesh Yadav through his pet goons is attacking Union Minister and BJP leader SP Singh Baghel and BJP leaders, fearing defeat in the election. With the attack, you have ensured your defeat. Is this the new Samajwadi Party? Will you get those contesting against you attacked?" the Deputy Chief Minister said in another tweet.
BJP president of Uttar Pradesh Swatantra Dev Singh also slammed SP alleging its involvement.
"The attack on BJP candidate from Karhal Assembly and Union Minister S.P. Singh Baghel's convoy shows that SP candidate Akhilesh Yadav is standing on the verge of defeat there. Victory in elections is achieved on the strength of the blessings of the people, not on the strength of the goons' terror," BJP state president tweeted in Hindi.
Karhal will go to the polls in the third phase on February 20.
(With ANI inputs)