New Delhi: Union Minister of State Ramdas Athawale was allegedly slapped by a youth after a public event in Maharashtra’s Ambernath town, late on Saturday night. The accused identified as Pravin Gosavi was detained by police for investigations.

Though, the motive behind the attack is yet to be ascertained, reports suggest that Gosavi is an activist of Republican Party of India (RPI-A), headed by Athawale, and which is a constituent of the ruling NDA.

Following the attack, members of the Republican Party of India have called for a statewide bandh today (December 9).

The incident reportedly took place as Athawale came down after addressing a meeting when the youth suddenly lunged at him, pushed and slapped him on the face.

Even as some supporters rushed to the Minister’s aid, pushed away the attacker and roughed him up, Athawale’s personal bodyguards and police security pinned him down and whisked off from the venue. Shaken by the incident, the Minister departed for Mumbai shortly thereafter.

Meanwhile, scores of  Republican Party of India (RPI -A) workers assembled outside Athawale’s residence with party flags, raising slogans. Furthermore, one of the leaders, Kakasaheb Khambalkar, claimed that the attack was pre-planned.

“It was a pre-planned attack. The mastermind should be nabbed. We’ve called for a Maharashtra bandh today,” he told reporters.