Congress on Friday day described as "extremely disturbing" its Lok Sabha MP from Gujarat Vitthal Radadia for his act of brandishing a gun to threaten the employees of a toll plaza in the state.
"Images which are being shown on TV are disturbing undoubtedly. There is no running away from it. We are a little circumspect and cautious before we pronounce judgment. The process of natural justice does entail us to to give him a chance to explain.
"We have asked the Gujarat PCC to send us a detailed report. It is extremely disturbing. I would be less than honest if I say I do not share ... (that view)," party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters.
Radadia, apparently enraged at a toll plaza attendant asking him for the original I-card after his driver had shown a photocopy, was seen on national TV menacingly flashing his gun in front of the booth and repeatedly tapping the glass enclosure with the barrel.
Radadia, considered a 'strongman' in Saurashtra region, represents Porbandar constituency in Parliament.
FIR against MP
Police filed a FIR on Thursday against the Radadia under IPC sections relating to rioting and also under the Arms Act. Five more persons were also booked along with Radadia.
The bearded MP, dressed in white, apparently enraged at the temerity of the toll plaza attendant menacingly held his double-barreled shotgun aloft while stalking the area in front of the booth and repeatedly tapping the glass enclosure with the barrel. MPs are exempted from paying toll tax on highways across the country.
The FIR was filed by Vadodara rural police on the basis of the CCTV footage following a 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 will take action against those responsible," 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.
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.