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Pawar supporters protest across Maharashtra

Thursday November 24, 2011 06:53:54 PM, IANS

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Sharad Pawar slapped

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was Thursday slapped by a man, who had attacked former telecommunications minister Sukh Ram here four days ago 

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Mumbai: Protesting the attack on party chief and union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in New Delhi Thursday, angry Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) workers held state-wide demonstrations against the incident.

Led by NCP minister Laxman Dhoble, many party workers blocked roads in Sangli, Solapur and Nashik to condemn the attack on Pawar.

Pawar was slapped by a turbaned youth at a public function in New Delhi Thursday afternoon. The youth claimed he was angry over corruption and price rise.

NCP workers blocked vehicular traffic and forced shopkeepers to down shutters in various parts of Maharashtra, Pawar's home state, including in Thane, Mulund and Dadar in central Mumbai, and Pune, Baramati and Sangli in the state.

The Agriculture Produce Market was also shut down by angry NCP workers in adjoining Navi Mumbai.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, nephew of Sharad Pawar addressed a press conference to condemn the attack on his uncle. He, however, urged his fellow party workers to stay calm.

Leaders of various political parties also condemned the attack, describing it as cowardly.

"In a democracy, such attacks are condemnable. One can protest using non-violent means but such an attack cannot be justified," said Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Eknath Khadse of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Police officials, however, said the law and order situation in the city is under control and that tight security is being maintained following the incident.

Pawar, 71, was leaving after addressing a literary function at the New Delhi Municipal Council Centre in New Delhi when he was slapped by Harvinder Singh, said to be a transporter. Singh is also said to have assaulted former telecom minister Sukh Ram outside the Rohini Court complex in north Delhi on Saturday after he was sentenced in a corruption case.






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