Passengers aboard the Patna-Delhi Tejas Rajdhani Express got more than they bargained for on Thursday.
Janata Dal (United) MLA Narendra Kumar Neeraj alias Gopal Mandal was seen roaming in undergarments while travelling in the AC First Class compartment of Tejas Rajdhani Express, on a journey from Patna to New Delhi.
Other passengers took objection to his shameful state. According to another passenger on board, Mandal abused the passengers who objected to his behaviour and even tried to beat them up; he also threatened to shoot the passengers.
The Railway Police Force and the ticket examiner had to step in and he was then shifted to another coach of the train.
"Fellow passengers complained about the behaviour of MLA. The police and the ticket examiner persuaded both parties," said Rajesh Kumar, Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO), East Central Railway.
If his behaviour wasn’t bad enough, Mandal decided to defend himself and blamed an upset stomach for his sartorial choice.
"I was in underwear and vest. I had just boarded the train and had an upset stomach. I do not lie," said the MLA.
#WATCH I was only wearing the undergarments as my stomach was upset during the journey: Gopal Mandal, JDU MLA, who was seen in undergarments while travelling from Patna to New Delhi on Tejas Rajdhani Express train yesterday pic.twitter.com/VBOKMtkNTq
— ANI (@ANI) September 3, 2021
Meanwhile, according to a report in India Today, Gopal Mandal's friend Kunal Singh said that owing to the MLA's weight, he can't go to the washroom in his clothes and therefore, use to wear lungi and gamchha (loincloth and cotton towel) when wanted to use the washroom.
"After boarding the train, he [Gopal Mandal] wanted to go to the washroom. He was in a hurry, so he went in his underwear. At this point of time, one passenger spoke with Mandal with impudence. The MLA didn't say anything at that time but spoke with the passenger after returning from the washroom," Kunal Singh was quoted as saying.
As per reports, this is not the first time Gopal Mandal has stirred controversy.
Back in March 2016, the Gopalpur MLA was caught on camera dancing with women to a Bhojpuri number.
Initially, he claimed that the video was doctored and it was a conspiracy to drag him into a fresh controversy. However, Mandal later conceded that he had recently visited Ara in Bhojpur district to attend a wedding function, where he danced with some professional dancers.
Speaking to the Telegraph then, he had said, "Since I am an artiste by birth, I couldn't restrain my emotions and danced with the girls just to entertain the people there. There is nothing in the video, which could be construed as objectionable."
In March that year he had been suspended from the party for making controversial statements. At a public function, he had said that he would resort to hatya ki rajniti, or politics of murder, adding that he had killed people in the past. He had also challenged Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to ban country-made liquor in the state from 1 April.
In March this year, he was once again in the eye of the storm when he was allegedly held hostage by Bhagalpur villagers.
The incident was triggered when Mandal reportedly had gone to take 20 acres of land and he was confronted by the angry villagers of Bhagalpur.
The JD(U) MLA from Gopalpur said he soon realised that the land was disputed and wanted to leave the village but was not allowed by infuriated locals.
With inputs from agencies