The Uttar Pradesh BJP has decided to support its Kannauj MP, Subrat Pathak, who has been booked for allegedly attacking Mandi police chowki in the district, misbehaving with policemen and issuing threats to set the outpost on fire.
Pathak and his associates have been accused of manhandling the cops while trying to free a kidnapping accused who was arrested by the Unnao police last week.
Three sub-inspectors and four constables were injured in the incident.
UP BJP chief Bhupendra Chaudhary said that Pathak's presence at the spot has not been established.
"Therefore, the party and the organisation stand by his side. He is a prominent leader of the party and has been discharging his duties efficiently," he told reporters.
BJP's Kannauj district president Narendra Rajput said that there was no official information about Pathak's involvement in the incident.
"He is a popular leader. We will always stand by his side," Rajput said.
Sources said that the state leadership has sought a detailed report from the district unit.
Pathak could not be contacted for comments.
BJP's stance has expectedly evoked sharp response from the Samajwadi Party which said that the state government was functioning "undemocratically" while overlooking the misdeeds of its own party leader.
"This shows the attitude of the government which seems to be working arbitrarily. The BJP has been saving their unruly leaders while carrying out fake encounters of gullible and innocent people," alleged SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary.
BJP sources said that the party was treading cautiously as Pathak is learnt to have a strong backing of the RSS.
Pathak has been an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS.
His father, Om Prakash Pathak, a prominent perfume trader in Kannauj, was also associated with the RSS.
Pathak's mother, Saroj Pathak, won Kannauj Nagar Palika Parishad chairman elections in 2012 as a BJP candidate.
Subrat Pathak has also been in the good books of the BJP central leadership. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had campaigned for him in Kannauj during the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
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