Himachal Congress woman legislator booked for slapping cop

Shimla, Dec 29 (IANS) Congress leader and Himachal Pradesh firebrand legislator Asha Kumari was booked on Friday for allegedly slapping a woman constable who was on duty outside the venue of a review meeting being conducted by Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Gandhi was here for a daylong visit to assess the party’s debacle in the recently held assembly elections in the state when the legislator from Dalhousie was allegedly trying to force her way into the venue.

Eyewitnesses said as the constable posted outside the Congress Bhawan tried to stop Asha Kumari, an AICC secretary, she got infuriated and allegedly slapped her.

In retaliation, the constable allegedly slapped her back.

It was on the intervention of others, including legislator and former Cabinet Minister Dhani Ram Shandil, that the tempers were soothed. Another legislator and former Cabinet Minister Mukesh Agnihotri was also accompanying Asha Kumari.

At the time, Gandhi was inside the office, meeting party legislators, defeated party candidates and local leaders to discuss the defeat of the Congress.

Later, Asha Kumari, a former state Education Minister from 2003-05, apologised.

“She (police constable) abused me and pushed me, she should have shown restraint. Yes, I agree I should not have lost my temper. I apologised,” she told reporters.

She admitted Gandhi condemned the incident. “Our national president says such incidents should not happen.”

Superintendent of Police Saumya Sambasivan told reporters that a case has been registered against the legislator on the complaint of the constable.

The BJP wrested power from the Congress, winning close to a two thirds majority with 44 seats in the 68-member Assembly. The Congress won 21 seats, independents two and the Communist Party of India-Marxist one.