A viral video from Uttar Pradesh has given the opposition fresh fodder to attack the Yogi Adityanath government ahead of the state elections. As the video was being shared widely, there was a quick reaction from BJP MLA Pankaj Gupta, who was seen in the clip, purportedly being slapped by a farmer. “It was just a pat on the cheek,” he told reporters.
The 21-second clip, reportedly shot three days ago, shows the Unnao BJP MLA on stage at an event to unveil a statue. Just then an old man comes close to him and then he is seen slapping him in the face, no matter what happens. Then some people quickly surround this old man – apparently questioning him for his actions – and escort him when they all get down on the stage. It is not clear what prompted the man, who is a farmer in that area.
The moment was seized by the Samajwadi Party of former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Taking a dig at the video in Hindi, the party tweeted- ‘A farmer leader slapped the MLA in a public meeting organized by BJP MLA Pankaj Gupta. Government and autocracy. ,
…..Farmer now claims that he was lovingly waving his hand at MLA and inadvertently hit him???? pic.twitter.com/4oFpUmciaF
— alok pandey (@alok_pandey) 7 January 2022
But the MLA tried to make out at a press meet with the old man about the clip from Wednesday’s incident.
In another presser video, a reporter asked the old man – “You are saying it was just a gesture of love, but isn’t it sending the wrong message.”
“I didn’t kill him. I just came close to him and asked him something, addressing him as “beta (son)”.
The MLA then intervenes, “The fact that the incident has been distorted by the opposition for political gains. They don’t have any issue. They want to show that farmers are against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He (the old man) is like my father. He used to do this before.”