Congress MP from Porbandar in Gujarat, Vithal Radadiya, has been caught on camera pulling out a gun, brandishing it and threatening employees at a toll plaza near Vadorara. The MP has refused to apologise, justifying his action by saying he acted in self defence, though no other person is seen anywhere near him on camera for most part. "I am an MP. I deserve respect," Mr Radadiya told NDTV. (Watch: Congress MP defends pulling out his gun)
The incident happened near a toll plaza at Karjan village last night, when the politician's car stopped at the toll booth. In a police complaint, the toll booth employees have said that the attendant asked for the MP's identity card and the driver showed him a photocopy. When the toll attendant asked for the original, they said, Mr Radadiya angrily stepped out of the car with the gun in hand and pointed it at the attendant, even allegedly threatening to kill him.
Footage from a CCTV camera installed at the toll plaza corroborates this. On camera the bearded MP, dressed in white, is seen strutting around the car with the gun, occasionally raising it and pointing it at people, clearly agitated.
Other commuters passing through the toll plaza were reportedly too afraid to step out of their cars.
Mr Radadiya denies none of this. Except that he claims that about 15 people had surrounded his car and so he had to grab the gun for self defence. "Are people free to attack us? I acted in self defence. Where is the police on a highway?" he asked.
With an injured air he recounted to NDTV how his car was stopped at the plaza despite him being an MP. "MPs don't have to pay toll," he said, clearly astonished that he was stopped. The attendant's due diligence also did not agree with the MP, who said indignantly, "When I got down I was called a bogus MP. If a person calls me a bogus MP, they say my card is false, what do I do?"
He soon slammed the phone down on NDTV.