Gandhi caps at polling booth trigger scuffle

New Delhi, Dec 4: A minor scuffle occurred at the Mandir Marg polling station in the New Delhi constituency during Delhi assembly polls Wednesday as Congress and BJP workers objected to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters wearing their trademark white Gandhi caps.

Usually, AAP supporters have “Main aam admi hoon (I am a common man)” written on the caps. On Wednesday, though, the AAP supporters wore plain caps.

Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers at the Mandir Marg polling station entered into an altercation with AAP supporters, saying they could not flaunt the cap as it was tantamount to campaigning.

AAP workers retorted, saying that it was simply a Gandhi cap, and could not be construed as a party symbol.

Angry Congress workers yanked off the Gandhi cap from the head of an AAP worker and threw it on the ground. Policemen posted at the venue had to intervene to cool down tempers.

The reasoning of the AAP workers – that they are free to wear whatever headgear they want – found favour, and the party workers were allowed to wear the Gandhi cap.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police S.B.S. Tyagi, “There was a minor altercation between some party workers over caps. They were allowed to wear any cap, but with no message inscribed on it.”

AAP workers present at many booths across Delhi were seen sporting the Gandhi caps.

“Nobody can stop us from wearing Gandhi caps. It is our right to wear any cap. Let them (other party members) think what they want,” AAP supporter Mohammad Taslim Tihmi, 57, told IANS from outside a polling booth in Okhla constituency.

AAP sources said party workers had received specific instruction from senior party leaders to wear the Gandhi caps. It would remind voters about the AAP party during voting, they were told, sources added.