New Delhi : Law Minister M Veerappa Moily described the alleged slapping of a bank manager by a Congress MP as unfortunate and said he did not think anybody, more so a Member of Parliament could indulge in such an act.
"It is most unfortunate. I don't think anybody should indulge in such things... Members of Parliament should be more responsible and he should not have done it," Moily said.
Congress MP from Nagarkurnool Manda Jagannatham had found himself in a spot after he allegedly slapped Andhra Pradesh Grameen Vikas Bank Manager in Mahabubnagar district Ravinder Reddy for not releasing the loan amount to SC/ST beneficiaries for the last six months.
MOILY ON SLAPPING EPISODE: The Law Minister says that an MP should not have done it.
Noting that he would ask Jagannatham as to "why he has done this," Moily said: "More than that whatever the provocation, whatever the reason, you must exercise restraint and that too (when it came to) a public servant or (for that matter) anyone. You cannot afford to take to take law in your own hands."
Meanwhile, the MP, in an apparent damage control exercise, said that the bank manager had allegedly taken the "liberty of insulting" him because he was a Dalit and had challenged him to come to the bank to settle scores.
"Because I am a Dalit, he (the manager) took liberty of insulting me and he challenged me to come to the bank to settle scores. As a Parliamentarian for 12 years, I have never had such a kind of incident," Jagannatham said.
"If this has taken place now, then how much of provocation he would have made to me to take the matter to such an extent. He is a revered bank employee, do other bank employees support this kind of insult to an MP," he asked.
"I was trying to catch him twice but he was going away. In the third and the fourth attempt to get hold of his shoulder, he moved his head and my hand touched his cheek," Jagannatham said.
The MP had on Tuesday alleged that the manager had given an improper reply when he called him up during a meeting of the mandal officials and public representatives to find out the reasons for not distributing the loans to the SC/ST beneficiaries.
Dissatisfied over the manager's reply, the Andhra MP headed to the bank from the mandal committee meeting and in the argument that followed, he allegedly slapped Reddy.
Footage aired by CNN-IBN showed the ruling party lawmaker slapping the bank manager more than once.
"Can he speak to me in the language which he did? He was drunk heavily. If he was taken to the hospital, it would have been proved," the MP had claimed. However, the bank manager had said Jagannatham's behavior did not behave the position held by him.