An auto rickshaw driver was assaulted by Bharatiya Janata Party leader V Kalidass when he questioned Tamil Nadu party chief Tamilisai Soundararajan regarding the rising fuel prices. The incident, which took place in Chennai’s Saidapet when Soundararajan was talking to reporters on Sunday night, was captured on camera.
In the video, Soundararajan is seen speaking to reporters after an event. A man dressed in khaki asks her about the rising fuel rates. Soon, Kalidaas can be seen pushing the driver and slapping him. The BJP chief is seen smiling and oblivious while the man is being assaulted behind her.
“I am an auto driver. The rising fuel costs affect my life,” Kathir told The News Minute later. “When I heard her talking about the good deeds of the government, I thought I should ask her this, so I did. Because she is a VIP, I was slapped once.”
A litre of petrol in Chennai on Monday cost Rs 85.31. “Fuel costs are rising on a daily basis,” he said. “If we fill our tanks for Rs 100, then we are paid the same for a ride and we are not able to make it back. We are filling our tank but not making any money with our labour. We are able to put food on the table every day only because I drive an auto. And the festival season is coming up so we have to drive extra to be able to afford new clothes.”
An unidentified BJP leader tried to defend the assault. “The way the man asked the question, our functionaries thought he was drunk,” the leader said, according to NDTV. “He was roughed up yes, but not beaten.”