NEW DELHI: Haryana's TikTok star-turned-BJP leader Sonali Phogat is in the news for all wrong reasons after she thrashed a government official repeatedly with slipper on Friday. More shocking is the fact that the woman politician went about her chappal assault even when it was being filmed on camera. The video of the slipper attack is going viral on social media currently.
The incident took place at the Balsamand Mandi in Hisar of Haryana when Sonali Phogat was inspecting the farmers' market. Sonali Phogat is a TikTok star who embraced politics and contensted unsuccessfully the 2019 Haryana assembly election as a BJP candidate. According to reports, she approached the Hisar market committee secretary Sultan Singh with a list of farmers' complaints. Instead of looking into their grievances, Sultan Singh allegedly hurled a derogatory comment at the celebrity woman politician.
With her anger breaching all boundaries, Sonali Phogat began thrashing and abusing the officer for his indecent behaviour. As the video clearly shows even as the woman politico went on with her slipper onslaught, the government official was seen pleading with her and even apologising to her. Interestingly, a policeman is also visible in the video, remaing a mute spectator to the BJP leader's attack.
The government official however apologised to her for his alleged crude comment.
This is what the thoroughly thrashed officer had to say to the media after the incident: "She said look at me and talk. Do you know me, she asked. I said I know you fought the polls from Adampur. I have noted everything and will get things done, I told her. Then she asked me, why did you oppose me in the elections? I have no family in Adhampur, I told her. I said, how will I vote in your constituency and you are blaming me so long after the elections. She then started saying, "You are abusing me." I kept saying I didn't abuse. Suddenly, I was getting slapped from all sides."
But Sonali Phogat had a different version to narrate. She told the media after the incident that she had beaten him with the slipper after he made derogatory remarks against her as soon as she entered the Balsamand Mandi.
"I visited Balsamand mandi along with some farmers and asked the Hisar market committee secretary Sultan Singh to inspect the arrangements for starting gram procurement there. Sultan told me that I am a charming lady and I should not be roaming in the mandis for farmers. I tried to control my anger but his words pinched me so I thrashed him. He sought unconditional apology from me. Now, I have filed a complaint against Sultan Singh,” Phogat said.
The shocking incident evoked sharp reactions with many criticising the fiery woman politician of exceeding her limits and taking law into her own hands like a feudal lord. But she also found support from some who said she only reacted to protect her dignity as a woman after a derogatory comment was hurled at her by the government official.
The incident also created a sharp divide on the social media as it began assuming communal colour based on the name of the official.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala has asked Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to take action against her.
"Khattar government's nauseating deeds! Adampur, Hisar's BJP leader is beating market committee secretary like an animal. Is being a government worker a crime? Will Khattar sahab take action? Will media remain silent?" he tweeted in Hindi.
Sonali Phogat, incidentally, is not new to courting controversies of this scale. A popular entertainer on TikTok, she lost the Haryana election to Congress's Kuldeep Bishnoi. At the height of her campaigning, she sparked off a controversy by proclaiming at a rally that whoever can't say "Bharat Mata ki Jai" is of "no value".
In a campaign video, she was heard saying, "Are you all from Pakistan? If you are Indian, then say Bharat Mata ki Jai."
Sonali also hogged the limelight last year when she lodged a police complaint against her sister and brother-in-law accusing them of assaulting and threatening her.