BJP MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan, who is reportedly unhappy because his daughter-in-law, and not his wife, has been fielded by the party from the Kaalol Assembly seat in the upcoming Gujarat polls, allegedly pushed a cameraman and warned a reporter in Panchmahal district today, when the scribes asked for his reaction to the development. Video clips being telecast on local television news channels purportedly showed the MP pushing the reporter at the venue of a BJP event at Mora village in Morva Hadaf taluka of Panchmahal. Chauhan had come to the village to take part in the ‘Mann ki Baat, Chai ke Saath’ programme of the BJP. On Friday, the ruling party, in its fifth list of 13 candidates for the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls, dropped the name of sitting MLA Arvindsinh Chauhan and instead, fielded Prabhatsinh Chauhan’s daughter-in-law Suman Chauhan from the Kaalol seat in Panchmahal district. Reportedly upset over the announcement, the Panchmahal MP wrote a letter to BJP chief Amit Shah, urging him to replace his daughter-in-law with a “local” candidate.
Although, in the letter, Chauhan did not specifically demand that his wife Rangeshwari be given the party ticket, the MP had recently told reporters that she was the best candidate for the Kaalol seat. In the letter, Chauhan also alleged that his son Pravinsinh was a “bootlegger” and that he and his wife had even gone to jail. Today, at the venue for the BJP event, Chauhan allegedly grasped a television reporter’s hand when the latter asked him a question over the ticket allocation issue. The MP also allegedly talked to the reporter in a warning tone and pushed him back. The entire episode was captured on cameras. Chauhan was subsequently pacified by his supporters, who took him away from the mediapersons.
Later, as he was leaving the venue, the MP reportedly got angry again at being asked questions by the media and allegedly hit one of the television cameras and pushed the cameraman. This incident was also captured by the television crew. The journalist, Hanif Bhagat, claimed that Chauhan not only grasped his hand, but also threatened him. “When I asked Chauhan to explain his side as regards the controversy, he got angry and grasped my hand. He then warned me saying, ‘do you want to get beaten up?’ Later, he attacked our cameraman outside the venue when another reporter tried to ask him a question,” said Bhagat, who works with “ABP Asmita”, a Gujarati news channel. Despite several requests to clear his stand over the issue of ticket allocation, Chauhan did not say anything and left the venue.
In his letter to Shah, the MP had reportedly warned that he would not guarantee a victory for the saffron party from Kaalol or any of the seven Assembly seats under his Lok Sabha segment, if daughter-in-law Suman Chauhan was not replaced with someone of his choice. Chauhan, a prominent Rajput face in the region, who had joined the BJP in 1992, claimed that though he had single- handedly established the BJP’s dominance in Panchmahal district over the years, he was ignored by the party and not given any post in the organisation. The MP claimed that the BJP would not get even a single vote from the tribals in the upcoming Assembly polls. While Chauhan’s wife Rangeshwari is a tribal, his daughter-in-law is a Rajput.
On Friday, after Rangeshwari came to know that she had been ignored in the ticket allocation, she targeted her husband in a fiery Facebook post, in which she dared him to enter Kaalol for poll campaigning. However, the post was deleted yesterday. Despite repeated attempts, Chauhan could not be reached for comments on today’s incident. The 182-member Gujarat Assembly will go to the polls in two phases — on December 9 and 14. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 18.