Madhya Pradesh minister booked for slapping tribal woman

Bhopal, April 18 (Inditop) Ranjana Baghel, Madhya Pradesh’s minister of state for women and child development and social justice, has been booked for allegedly slapping a tribal woman and issuing threats after the victim reportedly questioned her about non-fulfilment of promises regarding development and farm loan waivers, police said Saturday.

Baghel allegedly slapped Ganga Bai Friday evening while campaigning for her husband, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha candidate Mukam Singh Kirade, in village Palasi of Dhar district, 250 km from here.

“A case under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) was registered against the minister following a complaint by Ganga Bai,” Additional Superintendent of Police Virendra Singh told IANS.

When Baghel reached the village Friday, a group of around 10 women questioned her about the promises of development and waivers of farm loans to the tune of Rs.50,000 made by her in the run up to the assembly polls in November 2008.

Baghel had successfully contested from Manawar constituency under which Palasi falls.

“As soon as I and others with me inquired about the fulfillment of the promises she made when she had come seeking votes during the assembly polls, the minister slapped me and moved on with the public campaign,” Ganga Bai has alleged in her complaint to the police.

Congress leaders staged a sit-in outside the Manawar police station to protest the incident and left only after the police accepted Ganga Bai’s complaint.

The Congress plans to take up the issue to counter the BJP campaign, party sources said.

Repeated attempts to contact Ranjana Baghel failed. BJP leaders claimed that she was visiting rural areas for electioneering.