A man pushed and allegedly assaulted Union Minister of State Ramdas Athawale after a function in Ambernath town, late on Saturday night, officials said.
The incident occurred as the minister came down after addressing a meeting when the accused suddenly lunged at him, pushed and slapped him on the face, according to eyewitnesses.
Even as some supporters rushed to the minister’s aid, pushed away the attacker and roughed him up, Mr Athawale’s personal bodyguards and police security pinned him down and whisked off from the venue.
The motive behind the attack is not known though the youth is said to be an activist of Republican Party of India, headed by Mr Athawale, and which is a constituent of the ruling NDA.
Though appearing a bit shaken by the incident, the minister departed for Mumbai shortly thereafter, while the attacker was detained by police for investigations.