Radadiya sticks to his guns,never mind the model code

Four days after he was caught on camera waving a gun at a toll booth in Vadodara district,Porbandar Congress MP Vitthal Radadiya continues to keep his two licensed guns despite the model code of conduct for Assembly elections,which requires him to deposit his guns with the district administration,being in force.

Written by Gopal Kateshiya | Rajkot/vadodara | Published: October 16, 2012 2:10 am

The Porbandar Cong MP has two licensed guns,including the double-barrel 12-bore shotgun he was waving at toll plaza

Four days after he was caught on camera waving a gun at a toll booth in Vadodara district,Porbandar Congress MP Vitthal Radadiya continues to keep his two licensed guns despite the model code of conduct for Assembly elections,which requires him to deposit his guns with the district administration,being in force.

Radadiya,who faces 15 criminal cases,has two guns registered under his name,a .32 pistol and a double-barrel 12-bore shotgun,which he was apparently brandishing at the toll plaza at Karjan on the intervening night between October 10 and 11.

The gun registered under the name of Jayesh,Radadiya’s son who is Dhoraji MLA,has been deposited.

Rajkot Collector Dr Rajendra Kumar said the police had started collecting licensed weapons as part of model code of conduct.

Rajkot district SP Premveer Singh said while Jayesh had deposited his weapon,a notice had been served to the MP for the same. Radadiya’s home is in Jamkandorna in Rajkot district.

Meanwhile,manager of the toll plaza,Ajaysinh Thakur,said he was being intimidated. “Every day,a few people come to the booth and ask for my address and whereabouts from other employees. I have sought police protection,” he said.

Around 10 policemen have been deployed at the plaza for round-the-clock security.

Fresh charges under IPC’s section 341 (wrongful restrain) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) have also been pressed against Radadiya for halting traffic and allegedly hitting an employee with the butt of his gun.

Vadodara district SP Sandeep Singh said he had written to his counterparts in Rajkot and Porbandar seeking cooperation in the case. “We are gathering information about him. I have written to SPs of Porbandar and Rajkot districts and Rajkot city police commissioner,” he said.

Singh said footages recorded by nine CCTV cameras at the toll plaza had been handed over to the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) in Gandhinagar and a report was expected in the next few days.

Radadiya did not respond to calls.

MP,son feature in ads calling Leuva Patels for mega prayer meet

At least three local evening dailies here have carried advertisements with a picture of controversial Congress MP from Porbandar Vithal Radadiya appealing Levua Patels to attend a mega prayer to be held on Tuesday at this politically influential community’s deity temple of Khodaldham at Kagvad in Rajkot district.

It was not clear if Radadiya,who was caught on camera waving a gun at a toll booth at Karjan in Vadodara a few days ago,would attend the event.

Radadiya’s son Jayesh,who is an MLA from Dhoraji and whose picture is also there in the advert,said: “I would not be able to attend since I am travelling. I do not know if my father will be able to attend.”

Radadiya himself did not respond to calls.

The event,during which Leuva Patels will walk from four different areas of Saurashtra to converge at Khodaldham,is the second show of strength by the community this year.

In January,they had gathered in huge numbers at the same venue. The meet was addressed by Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s bete noire Keshubhai Patel,the tallest political leader from the community.

Khodaldham Trust,which is organsing the event,claims to be apolitical. Its president Naresh Patel,a Rajkot-based industrialist,maintains they will vote for the party that works for its development.

“We form 14 per cent of the total votes. Levuas cannot be ignored by any party,” he says.

The Congress is banking on Leuva Patels to swing results in its favour in politically decisive Saurashtra-Kutch region,which has 58 of the total 182 Assembly seats in the state.

Radadiya,a Leuva himself,is crucial for the Congress since Leuvas could impact results in 20-odd seats.

The Porbandar MP is a crowd-puller for the Congress and is a major donor in the trust.

The event by the religious trust Khodaldham Trust,which was founded only last year,is expected to see a huge turnout. A special stage has been constructed for at least 150 dignitaries to perform aartis.

Khodaldham Trust denied having issued the advertisements.

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