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JD(U) MLA roams around Rajdhani coach in underwear, says ‘stomach upset’ when cornered

The incident took place Thursday aboard the Patna-Delhi Tejas Rajdhani Express. The MLA was seen roaming around the AC first class compartment clad only in his underwear and vests.

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Patna: Janata Dal (United) MLA Narendra Kumar Neeraj alias Gopal Mandal created ruckus on the Patna-Delhi Tejas Rajdhani Express, roaming around the AC first class compartment clad only in his underwear and vest.

The incident took place Thursday evening when the train reached Buxar on its way to Delhi. Mandal’s co-passengers strongly objected to his state, pointing out that women and children were travelling in the compartment too. However, the MLA allegedly threatened them.

Vidhayak ji (MLA Mandal) remained defiant telling us that they did not know who he was and he could take action against us,” co-passenger Prahlad Paswan told ThePrint. 

The situation was finally brought under control after the train reached Deen Dayal Upadhyay Station (Mughalsarai), where Railway employees had to call the Railway Protection Force (RPF) inside the compartment. The matter was settled when the seats of the passengers opposite him were changed.

ThePrint reached the JDU MLA via calls but there was no response until the time of publishing this report.

However, when he got cornered by the media as the train reached the national capital Friday morning, he defended his sartorial choice claiming he had an “upset stomach” and had to frequent the toilet repeatedly.

The Railways verified the incident and called the behaviour of the MLA “inappropriate”.

“The behaviour of the MLA was inappropriate. When we came to know about it after the passengers registered their objection we sent RPF jawans inside the compartment and resolved the matter by changing seats,” Eastern Central Railways Chief Public Relations Officer Rajesh Kumar told ThePrint.

Railway sources pointed out that the MLA could have asked for a doctor if he was unwell.

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Constant embarrassment for CM, but action not possible

Gopal Mandal represents the Gopalpur assembly segment in the Bhagalpur district. In the recent past, he has been a constant source of embarrassment for both his party and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. 

In January, he made a public statement that the CM would not last the full term and Tejashwi Yadav would form the government in six months. Just a month before that, a video had gone viral featuring him dancing with women dancers on stage in his constituency. It left the JD(U) leaders red-faced. 

Last month, Mandal created a ruckus by alleging that BJP leader and Deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad was extorting money from Bhagalpur businessmen. A furious BJP demanded action against Mandal. Prasad even met CM Nitish Kumar to personally discuss the issue.

The JD(U) MLA later made a statement that he considers Prasad his elder brother.

In earlier tenures as CM, Nitish Kumar was known for keeping a tight leash on his MLAs. He forced then-JD(U) MLA Sarfaraz Alam to issue an apology when the legislator was accused of misbehaving with a couple on a train.

But this time, his government rules on a wafer thin majority in the assembly — 125 out of 241, with two seats vacant due to deaths of JD(U) MLAs. His own party’s strength is just 43 against 75 of Tejashwi’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and 74 of ally BJP. 

“Nitish ji cannot afford to come down heavily on Gopal Mandal due to numbers. Besides, Mandal hails from the EBC section which is a major vote bank of the JDU,” a JD(U) leader said, recalling that Mandal has ignored the party’s warnings in the past.

(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)

Also read: The debate on caste census has forgotten Pasmanda Muslims again


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