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Man hurls shoes at BJP leaders during press conference

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 18, 2019  | 20:13 IST

(Eds: With details) New Delhi, Apr 18 (PTI) A man hurled shoes at BJP leaders addressing a press conference at the party's headquarters here on Thursday and was detained by police. The middle-aged person identified himself as Shakti Bhargava and claimed to be a doctor by profession, but he did not speak about the reason behind his action as he was being bundled out by BJP staff and security guards. The Delhi Police, which questioned him for several hours, said they were letting him off as no complaint was lodged against him. Nothing incriminating was found against him and he just wanted to grab attention, they said, adding that he hails from Kanpur and is facing legal cases related to property and Income Tax. The incident took place when a scheduled press conference of BJP leaders Bhupendra Yadav and G V L Narasimha Rao was on. The person threw a shoe and flung another after stepping close to the dais when Rao was attacking the Congress, accusing it of "defaming" the Hindu religion by linking it to terrorism during its rule at the Centre in 2004-14. It is an attempt by a "Congress-inspired" person but it will not deter the BJP, Rao said and carried on with his attack on opposition parties after being left momentarily surprised as one of the shoes brushed past him. Though it is unclear if the person involved in the incident had any political motivation, shoe-throwing has often been a show of protest, political or otherwise, by people seeking to bring attention to themselves or their issues. Jarnail Singh, then a journalist, had thrown a shoe towards the then Union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram in 2009 to protest against the party's ticket to anti-Sikh riot case accused Sajjan Kumar, now convicted. Though he lost his job, Singh went on to become an MLA on a Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket. Political leaders cutting across party lines have been at the receiving end of show-throwers. L K Advani, Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi and Nitish Kumar are among those targeted with shoes, which have more often than not missed their mark. Some leaders have suffered much worse with the likes of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and NCP chief Sharad Pawar even slapped. PTI KR AMP KR ANB ANB

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