Poll panel urged to act against minister who slapped tribal

April 21st, 2009 - 5:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhopal, April 21 (IANS) Condemning the alleged slapping of a tribal woman by Madhya Pradesh Women and Child Welfare Minister Ranjana Baghel at Manawar in Dhar district last week, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) Tuesday urged the poll panel to take action against the minister.
Contending the incident was a violation of the spirit of the model code of conduct, NBA leader Medha Patkar, in a letter to the Election Commission with a copy to the National Commission for Women (NCW), said: “NBA views this incident with utmost seriousness and strongly condemns such arrogance and lawlessness on the part of the minister, which in fact is again a manifestation of the increasing valueless criminal politics.”

“As a woman, more so an adivasi women herself, Ms. Baghel is expected to represent her community, but she has instead behaved in a manner totally unbecoming of her stature and ceases any claim to represent the ordinary toiling adivasi women,” Patkar wrote in the letter.

Baghel allegedly slapped Ganga Bai Friday evening while campaigning for her husband, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha candidate Mukam Singh Kirade, in village Palasi of Dhar district, 250 km from here.

When Baghel reached the village Friday, a group of around 10 women led by Ganga Bai questioned her about the promises of development and waivers of farm loans to the tune of Rs.50,000 made by her in the run up to the assembly polls in November 2008.

At this, Baghel, who represents the Manawar constituency under which Palasi falls, lost her temper and slapped Ganga Bai.

In her complaint, Ganga Bai said as soon as she and the other women inquired about the fulfilment of the promises she made when she had come seeking votes during the assembly polls, “the minister slapped me and moved on”.

Congress leaders staged a sit-in outside the Manawar police station to protest the incident and left only after the police accepted Ganga Bai’s complaint and registered a case under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) against the minister.

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