A day before the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections, a Congress MLA in the state on Monday alleged that he was attacked with swords by a mob led by his rival from the Bharatiya Janata Party, NDTV reported.

Kanti Kharadi, who is seeking re-election from the Danta constituency in Banaskantha district, claimed that he escaped from his attackers and hid in the forest.

“I was attacked by the BJP candidate Ladhu Parghi and 150 of his goons with swords around 9.30 pm,” Kharadi told NDTV. “They would have killed me, so I ran and hid in a jungle for three-four hours. The police found me after.”

Kharadi alleged that he was going to his constituency along with his supporters when Parghi and others blocked his car and surrounded him.

“They blocked us, then we turned the car, and another car blocked us from the other side,” the Congress MLA said. “Then we left the car and ran. We thought we must escape, we ran for 10-15 km.”

He also claimed that he had been threatened by Parghi last week, following which he wrote a letter to the Election Commission seeking protection, reported ANI.

“I had written a letter four days back but no action has been taken,” the Congress MLA alleged. “If the [Election] Commission had taken action, this attack would not have happened.”

The Gujarat Police, however, said they are investigating the matter.

“A team has been sent to the site of the alleged incident and investigations are on to ascertain if it was an accident or something else,” an unidentified police officer told The Indian Express.

The alleged attack on Kharadi has also prompted a reaction from Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Jignesh Mevani.

“Congress had demanded deployment of paramilitary force in addition to the Election Commission, but the Commission slept on it,” Gandhi claimed in a tweet. “Listen, BJP – we are not afraid, we will not be afraid, we will fight hard.”

Meanwhile, Mevani claimed that the Congress MLA was attacked as the BJP is afraid of losing the election. “Is this how free and fair elections would be conducted, Election Commission?” he asked.

The BJP has not responded to the allegations yet.