Gun-toting lands Gujarat MP in soup

Gun-toting lands Gujarat MP in soup

In a major embarrassment to the Gujarat Congress unit, party veteran and Porbander MP Vitthal Radadia was booked for threatening employees of a toll booth with a gun after they reportedly asked him for his original MP identification card.

Visuals of the MP brandishing his weapon at the toll booth on October 10 night, has stunned the party. CCTV footage clearly showed the MP moving around the booth, threatening the staff with his double barrel licensed weapon.

The incident occurred at around 1:25 am at the toll booth at Karjan, about 30 km from Vadodara. Radadia’s driver sought exemption from paying Rs 100 as toll, since the MP was entitled to a waiver. However, the driver produced a coloured photocopy of the legislator’s I-card instead of the original one.

“The complainant stated that when he asked for the original copy, the driver refused to oblige. An altercation ensued, following which the MP got off the car and started threatening the employees,’’ said Usha Rada, Vadodara (rural) DySP.

In his defence, Radadia said: “First, the employee made a mockery of me by questioning whether I was a genuine MP. Secondly, when I argued, 15 toll employees encircled me. Hence, I acted in self-defence.’’ Surprisingly, despite alleging that he was threatened, Radadia neither complained to the police nor did he inform them about the ruckus at the booth.

The Congress announced that it had sought an explanation from the MP and an inquiry will be initiated by the state unit of the party. But, considering Radadia’s clout in the Saurashtra region, any action against the MP seems to be a tall order. The Congress depends on him to mobilise the Patel community for turning the tide in the party’s favour in the Saurashtra region, which accounts for 54 Assembly seats in the 182-member House.

“Such an act by an elected member is condemnable and the law will take its own course to see what action can be taken against the MP,’’ said Gujarat government spokesman Jaynarayan Vyas.

The police have registered an FIR against the MP under Section 25 (1) B of the Arms Act and Sections 143, 147, 148, 149, 503 and 504 of the IPC.

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