Madhusudan Mistry arrested, released over poster war against Modi

Vadodara, Apr 3: High drama unfolded on the streets of Vadodara on Thursday as Congress candidate and Rahul Gandhi confidante Madhusudan Mistry, contesting against Narendra Modi, was arrested with his supporters for rioting after they tore down posters of the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

Mistry and his 33 supporters were later released by a magistrate on personal bonds of Rs 5000 each. City Police Commissioner Satish Sharma told PTI that charges of rioting, damaging public property and unlawful assembly were pressed against 20 men including him, while 14 arrested were charged with only unlawful assembly.

Tempers frayed in the rising heat of a gruelling election campaign as dramatic TV footage showed the 69-year-old Congress general secretary climb a ladder, carrying his own poster in hand, trying to paste it on the one of Modi hanging on an electric pole on a road divider.

The poster war between Mistry and the BJP broke out after the ruling party in the state booked all advertisement kiosks in the city installed by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation on the road sides and dividers where they splashed their Prime Ministerial nominee's posters. Mistry has been demanding a fare share of the kiosks from the district authorities and VMC for displaying his posters.

Trouble began this morning when Congress supporters tore down some posters of Modi to paste those of their leader. Police intervened and prevented Mistry from pasting his own poster on Modi's and seized his ladder. DCP Dipankar Trivedi said that Mistry or any other Congress leader had not taken permission for the "programme".

Video clippings showed Congress workers shouting slogans against Modi and BJP and accusing the BJP's PM contender of not allowing their party candidate to put up his posters. Speaking to PTI, Mistry alleged that police and the district administration were acting in a partisan manner and preventing Congress workers from putting up his posters at advertisements kiosks on city roads.


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