Prafulla Kumar Mahanta’s family accused of assaulting legislator

December 22nd, 2008 - 11:23 am ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Dec 22 (IANS) Former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is in a fresh controversy. A legislator of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has accused Mahanta’s wife and son of beating him up in the presence of Mahanta. “I was mistreated in front of Mahanta in his official residence with Jayashree (Mahanta’s wife) and their son (Shyamanta Kashyap) assaulting me physically with shoes and punches,” said Liaquat Ali Khan, an AGP legislator representing the Chenga constituency in western Assam.

The immediate provocation for the alleged attack on Khan is said to be the legislator’s angry outburst at a party forum where he accused Mahanta of failing the AGP during his two terms as chief minister.

“In the meeting, Khan said that during Mahanta’s leadership the AGP’s image got a beating and that Khan now supports the new president (Chandra Mohan Patowary) to head the government if the party comes back to power in 2011,” a senior AGP leader said.

Mahanta was present when Khan spoke against him in the party meeting held over the weekend.

“Shyamanta came and told me that Mahanta wanted to see me at their house. I immediately went and met him and soon his wife entered the room, followed by Shyamanta,” Khan told IANS.

Then began the assault, Khan said. “Jayashree opened her sandal and hit me and abused me with filthy words saying ‘you Bangladeshi dog’,” he alleged.

“They called their security staff and Shyamanta forced me to bow down and touch Mahanta’s feet and clicked photographs with their mobile phones and later released it to the media,” Khan said.

The episode has put Mahanta in an embarrassing situation.

“I don’t even know who Khan is and all these allegations are false,” Mahanta’s son Shyamanta said.

Mahanta was allowed to rejoin the AGP early this year after being in political wilderness for three years after he was expelled for alleged anti-party activities.

Sources within the AGP said Mahanta was desperately trying to claw his way back to the party’s top position and hence was angry after a party legislator openly questioned his role and supported the new president.

The AGP is yet to make a statement on the incident with party leaders not willing to comment.

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