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It is the eve before Varanasi goes to poll. Alcohol has been confiscated from BJP offices in Varanasi. When damage control is not possible, what remains is counter-damage in the evergreen BJP goal of achieving "lesser evil".

Update: While Daily Bhaskar mentions alcohol allegedly confiscated, HT reports that the District Magistrate ordered the return of seized items saying there was nothing illegal.

Alcohol confiscated in raid on BJP Varanasi office
Alcohol confiscated in raid on BJP Varanasi office

Latest rumor is that AAP will consider supporting third front in order to stop BJP. This news, like many sensational headlines these days appears to come from the most "happening" source - the imagination.

Arvind Kejriwal, the Aam Aadmi Party official handle and several party supporters and leaders have clarified that this news is a complete fabrication. But hell hath no fury like a media determined to peddle a "truth", so we have continue to have news of this support to this - so far - fictional third front.

I have remarked earlier that I wouldn't mind if AAP did that, but I also understand why they don't want to do that. In any case, this news is unlikely to be true due to the simple reason that so far, all such declarations have consistently included BJP and Congress. This news is likely to be a BJP fabrication because it follows a fictional plot only BJP has been able to see so far - that of AAP being a Congress proxy.

Besides, it will give their "speak up in media, shut up in Parliament" traditions something to whine about post-elections if indeed AAP ends up on the same side as other suspected third front parties and give their social media trolls a face saver to accuse about, instead of simply eating crow.

Frankly, I don't know why they bother. They have lost all credibility except among those already devoted to them beyond reason. There is no need to exhibit further duplicity and risk alienating those. AAP joining hands against them at any cost will at best highlight the threat BJP is. If AAP intends to back any front now or later, it is perfectly capable of speaking for itself, if it doesn't, this won't work as slander for the simple reason that most Indians don't bother so much about politics to question a party they otherwise support over alliances. I mean, did BJP supporters quit supporting when you-know-who ended up allying with them? Why would anyone do that with AAP either?

BJP strategy machine is gone so haywire that it is hitting out blindly praying for matkas. Won't help. Varanasi votes tomorrow.

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In what appears to be a pattern of escalating assaults on Aam Aadmi Party members, supporters of the BJP tried to bully 4 AAP volunteers out of public space in Varanasi asking them to remove their caps and go away. When AAP volunteers refused to budge failed a group of 15-20 BJP supporters brutally assaulted the four leading to somewhat severe injuries.

The four were returning from an evening cleanliness drive at Durga Kund and singing patriotic songs as they headed for Assi Ghat. On the way back, they stopped at Kashi tea stall to drink water. Nandan, Kavish, Prabhat and Ankit were at the stall when the remaining group went ahead. 3-4 people approached them and told them to remove their caps. They refused. Ankit Lal claims that they had BJP badges, and AAP volunteers invited them for an impromptu debate rather than bullying tactics.

BJP supporters left and joined a group of 15-20 people at a distance and returned with the group, while the AAP volunteers continued to chat with locals. The larger group threatened again. The AAP volunteers refused to obey, and said that if the BJP workers thought that hitting them would solve anything, they were welcome to try.

AAP volunteers assaulted by BJP in Varanasi
AAP volunteers assaulted by BJP in Varanasi

The gang of BJP workers hit Nandan. Blood sprayed from his nose. Ankit Lal challenged them saying "You hit us and run and then call us Bhagoda." At which a few of the BJP workers returned and hit Ankit and Nandan again. Both were hit multiple times. Prabhat who tried to save them also got hit. The BJP workers fled on bikes leaving Ankit and Nandan bleeding. About 30 odd locals were witness to this attack.

Nandan and Ankit Lal injured by BJP thugs
Nandan and Ankit Lal injured by BJP thugs

They were rushed to Swami Vivekananda hospital, where doctors say that AAP national convenor for IT communications, Ankit Lal has damage to his left ear drum which will probably not result in hearing loss, but will take a painful week or so to heal. Nandan has a hairline fracture in his nose and will take longer to heal. Both of them are planning to return to the same place to sing patriotic songs tomorrow, as they had today.

Ankit Lal's spectacles broken in assault
Ankit Lal's spectacles broken in assault

Ankit Lal took to Twitter on returning from the hospital in pain to narrate this incident. He was very clear that they did not obey, they did not back off, they did not retaliate and they will return tomorrow.

Nandan's nose broken in attack by BJP thugs
Nandan's nose broken in attack by BJP thugs

In the meanwhile, anonymous BJP handles are attempting to portray this incident as locals hitting the AAP volunteers for drinking beer. It doesn't get any more "shameless liar" than that.

This attack is the latest installment in a series of attacks on AAP workers and leaders that are increasing in violence as elections draw closer. 5 days ago, BJP supporters brutally beat up Somnath Bharti and vandalized his car. CNN IBN journalist showed remarkable courage wading into the mob to protect Somnath Bharti. While most media blacked out this news, others seem to be pretending that Somnath Bharti was attacked by nameless people and AAP is blaming BJP. It appears that BJP supporters on shows too are not BJP enough for media with a motive.