An MLA of the ruling JD(U) in Bihar on Friday hurled expletives at journalists who questioned him about a recent video clip in which he was seen entering a hospital premises with an unholstered pistol in his hand.
Gopal Mandal, who represents the Gopalpur assembly segment in Bhagalpur, drew flak from his own party for his conduct. The police, meanwhile, ordered an inquiry into the video footage that has gone viral on social media.
When journalists in Patna approached the MLA with queries about the video which was said to be a couple of days old, Mandal tried to explain away his conduct saying, ”I was carrying my licensed pistol as I always do. But I had forgotten to carry the holster. So I had kept the firearm inside the pocket of my pajamas.” He added, ”I had gone to the hospital to see a relative.
While climbing the stairs, the pistol started slipping out of my pocket. So I caught hold of it.” When journalists teased him with the question that whether he was still carrying his pistol, the MLA, who remains in the news for his bouts of temper, snapped.
”Yes, I do. Do you want me to show it to you? What kind of journalists are you? Do you think you are my father?” blurted Mandal, spouting a few expletives that were strongly protested by the journalists.
The MLA was prevented from creating a big scene by security personnel who tugged at his sleeves.
However, when the matter was reported to state minister Ashok Choudhary, a close confidant of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, while he was interacting with JD(U) workers at the party office here, he said ”we condemn the behaviour”.
Choudhary also suggested that he was not happy with the party MLA’s penchant for displaying firepower, saying, ”Ours is a party that follows in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and Ram Manohar Lohia. We do not speak the language of guns and bullets.” In Bhagalpur, Senior Superintendent of Police Anand Kumar told reporters that an inquiry has been conducted into the video by a deputy SP rank officer and it has been found that the MLA was carrying a licensed weapon.
”The matter is now being referred to the district magistrate, who is the licensing authority, for necessary action,” he said.
Serving his fourth consecutive term in the assembly, Mandal has been in the news for his indiscreet behaviour on more than one occasion, the most infamous of these being on board a train two years ago when co-passengers expressed outrage over his moving around in his underclothes.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)