Congress Lok Sabha MP from Porbandar Vitthal Radadia has landed in a soup after being caught on camera brandishing a gun to threaten the employees of a toll plaza who dared him to show his identity card before waiving payment.
Radadia, apparently enraged at the temerity of the toll plaza attendant, who asked for the original I-card after his driver had shown a photocopy, was seen on national TV menacingly flashing his gun while stalking the area in front of the booth and repeatedly tapping the glass enclosure with the barrel.
The incident that happened near Karjan on National Highway 8 on the intervening night of October 10-11, was caught on CCTV cameras installed outside the toll plaza.
Radadia, considered a 'strongman' in the Saurashtra region, had recently helped the party organise a massive farmers rally in Rajkot.
Incidentally, Porbandar is the birth place of the Father of the Nation and apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi.
The CCTV footage has been provided to Vadodara rural police which is in the process of filing of an FIR based on the complaint by the manager of the private company collecting toll tax.
"We have received CCTV footage and have identified car number as GJ 3 445. We are trying to identify the persons involved in it," Deputy Superintendent of Police Usha Rada said.
In his complaint, the manager has said the driver and occupants of the car had threatened to kill him and other employees. He said one of the occupants took out a gun and created terror, saying they would not pay road toll tax as the car belonged to an MP.
"After registering an FIR we will start investigation about the occupants of the car and ensure justice is done to the victims," Rada said.
Radadia, however, defended his action, saying he was surrounded by about 15 people carrying sticks after he told the plaza manager that as an MP he was exempt from paying the toll.
"15 people surrounded us, saying the identity card shown by my driver was bogus, that I am a bogus MP. As an MP I too have some prestige. I took out my licenced gun for my safety," Radadia said.
Asked why did he not inform the police instead of taking the law into his hands, he shot back, saying,"Who would have provided me security on the highway?"