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Thursday, March 07, 2019, 17:50
Indian lawmakers get off on wrong foot in 'shoe brawl'
By Reuters
Thursday, March 07, 2019, 17:50 By Reuters

A photo taken on March 25, 2016 shows a slipper lying on the ground. (STEFAN HEUNIS / AFP)

NEW DELHI Two lawmakers from India’s ruling party were set to be disciplined on Friday after a fight using a shoe as a weapon went viral on social media.

The event has caused embarrassment to the Bharatiya Janata Party led Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a country where shoes are considered unclean and using one as a weapon is seen as especially offensive.

I regret the incident and feel bad about it. 

Sharad Tripathi, Member of the Bharatiya Janata Party

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Footage of the altercation in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, dubbed the “shoe brawl” by Indian media, shows MP Sharad Tripathi beating state assembly member Rakesh Singh Baghel with his slipper after an argument over the placement of names on a foundation stone for a new project.

“I regret the incident and feel bad about it. What happened was against my normal behavior,” Tripathi told Reuters partner ANI.

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Baghel, who retaliated by repeatedly slapping Tripathi, has also apologized for the fight.

The BJP’s president in Uttar Pradesh, MN Pandey, said both lawmakers had been summoned to the state capital Lucknow and that “strict disciplinary action will be taken”.

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