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Sharad Pawar to George Bush, eight politicians who faced the ‘people’s anger’ before Kangana Ranaut

From George Bush to Arvind Kejriwal, here are seven politicians who were assaulted by citizens before Kangana Ranaut, the newly elected BJP MP from Himachal Pradesh who was allegedly slapped for her comments on the farmers’ protests.

Our Web Desk Published 10.06.24, 04:07 PM

Rumble in Rhyl

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In May 2001, during the UK general election campaign, then deputy prime minister John Prescott was attacked by a protester named Craig Evans in Rhyl, Wales. Evans threw an egg at Prescott, hitting him on the side of the head. Prescott immediately retaliated by punching Evans, leading to a brief scuffle. The incident, widely dubbed the "Rumble in Rhyl," highlighted the high tensions and public frustrations during the election period, particularly among farmers and rural communities dissatisfied with the government's agricultural policies. 

Tony Blair Purple Powder Incident

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In May 2004, during a session of the House of Commons, then British PM Tony Blair was hit by purple powder thrown by protesters from the Fathers 4 Justice group. The protesters, advocating for fathers' rights and greater access to their children, disrupted the session by throwing condoms filled with the powder from the public gallery. It highlighted the intense dissatisfaction felt towards Blair's government policies and brought significant attention to their cause, temporarily halting parliamentary proceedings.

George Bush shoe attack

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In December 2008, during a media conference in Baghdad, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at then US President George W. Bush. As he hurled the shoes, al-Zaidi shouted, "This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog." The incident, captured on live television, symbolised the deep anti-American sentiment and anger towards the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Al-Zaidi was quickly subdued and arrested, facing legal repercussions for his actions.

Silvio Berlusconi hit with statuette​

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In December 2009, then Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was attacked during a rally in Milan by a man named Massimo Tartaglia. Berlusconi was struck in the face with a metal replica of Milan's Cathedral, causing significant injuries, including a broken nose and teeth. This attack occurred in a highly polarised political climate, with Berlusconi facing numerous scandals, including allegations of corruption and personal misconduct. ​

Sharad Pawar slapped

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In 2011, veteran politician Sharad Pawar was slapped by a disgruntled young man named Harvinder Singh in New Delhi during a public event. Singh, a worker of Pawars’s NCP, expressed his anger over corruption and rising prices. Pawar, although shaken by the attack, downplayed its significance, emphasising the need for peaceful dialogue to address grievances.​

Vitaly Zhuravsky thrown in the trash

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In September 2014, Vitaly Zhuravsky, a Ukrainian MP and former member of President Yanukovych's Party of Regions, was attacked by an angry mob in Kyiv. Protesters, furious over his support for controversial legislation that was perceived as pro-Russian and restrictive of civil liberties, grabbed Zhuravsky and forcefully threw him into a dumpster. They then proceeded to douse him with water and garbage, symbolising their disdain and frustration with corrupt politicians. 

Arvind Kejriwal ink attack

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Arvind Kejriwal, who has been subject to a wide variety of assaults over the years, tweeted, “I am just thinking - why am i being repeatedly attacked? Who r the masterminds? What do  they want? What do they achieve?” in 2014. He was attacked with ink in January of 2016 while addressing a public gathering at the Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi. Bhavna Arora, who was identified as the culprit purportedly acted in protest against the Aam Aadmi Party’s “CNG Scam.” 

Kanhaiya Kumar assaulted 

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The JNU students’ union leader turned Congress Lok Sabha candidate from North East Delhi, was assaulted and attacked with ink on May 17, 2024, while coming out from the AAP Office in New Usmanpur in Delhi after a party meeting with local councillor Chhaya Sharma. One person was later arrested for the incident. 

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