Ink thrown at Union Minister Ashwini Choubey

Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Ashwini Choubey, back to camera, after a man threw ink on him while he was visiting dengue patients at Patna Medical College & Hospital, in Patna, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Ink was thrown at Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Tuesday by a supporter of controversial Bihar politician Pappu Yadav when the former visited the Patna Medical College and Hospital to take stock of the measures in place to contain dengue in the city.

Choubey, who is union minister of state for Health, was about to board his car, after meeting patients and holding discussions with doctors and hospital officials, when the bottle carrying the ink crashed to the ground close to the vehicle evoking exclamations from those flanking the minister.

The minister's car, mainly the bonnet and the window pane next to the seat he himself took - was smeared with ink blots and a flustered Choubey, who remained unscathed, told the posse of journalists at the spot "this is the handiwork of those who used to indulge in crime before entering politics". The union minister, did not mention Yadav by name though all through his presence at the hospital, supporters of the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP), headed by former Madhepura MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, had raised slogans in protest against "government apathy" in providing relief to the residents when they were affected by waterlogged streets as also in ensuring proper medical facilities on the outbreak of vector-borne diseases that followed.

Two persons one of them wearing a blue T-shirt and black jeans were shown by cameras of news channels as being chased by security personnel though the duo, suspected to have caused the mischief, sprinted hard and could not be caught. Later, the T-shirt clad man, appearing to be in his late 20s, spoke to some local news channels identifying himself as Nishant Jha an office-bearer of JAPs students wing and alleged that he wanted to "express anger on behalf of the common people whose voice those in power never listen to".

Pirbahore police station SHO- Rizwan Ahmed Khan- told PTI "we have taken note of the media reports and we shall be soon catching hold of the miscreant'. Yadav had sought to project himself as a samaritan during the recent waterlogging crisis in the state capital triggered by incessant rains in September end when he actively took to distribution of relief on the inundated streets of Patna, riding NDRF boats and giving away, food, drinking water, clothes and even cash to those in need.

When asked about the ink-throwing incident, Yadav replied evasively "I have come from Delhi only this morning. I can say there is palpable anger against those in power. The incident should not be linked to me or my party. It is public outrage that has spilled over". 

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