BJP MLA seeks protection following death threats from former Corporator

PTI, Feb 14, 2024, 4:15 PM IST

BJP MLA and former Minister K Gopalaiah on Wednesday told the Legislative Assembly that he and his family have received death threats from an ex-Corporator of the city’s civic body and demanded protection.

Alleging that Padmaraj called him last night in an inebriated condition and used derogatory language against him and his family, he said, despite a complaint being filed immediately, police had still not arrested him.

Home Minister G Parameshwara, subsequently informed the Assembly that Padmaraj had been arrested some time ago, and legal action would follow.

”Last night around 11 pm, I received a phone call from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike ex-Corporator Padmaraj, he demanded money. I cannot repeat the words he used insulting me in this House. He made derogatory comments against my family. He has even threatened to loot my house and has issued death threats to me and my family,” Gopalaiah said.

Raising the issue during ”Zero Hour,” he said he had information about Padmaraj, in an inebriated condition, issuing similar threats to several former Ministers and legislators like senior BJP MLA Suresh Kumar in the past.

Stating that Padmaraj runs clubs in Basaveshwaranagar limits and is ”intoxicated” with the money he gains from it, the MLA said, the former had taken help from him in the past in getting job or medical seats for people from his family or friends.

Demanding action against Padmaraj and that he should be exiled, he also sought protection to his family, fearing danger to them from him. He also urged shutting down all illegal clubs in Bengaluru, to put an end to such elements.

Noting that he has already given a police complaint in this regard, Gopalaiah said police have been waiting since last night in front of Padmaraj’s house. ”After coming out from the inebriated condition he is said to come out of his house….police are waiting outside his house for about 10-11 hours now.” Several BJP legislators including Leader of Opposition R Ashoka backed Gopalaiah and demanded justice for him.

”Gopalaiah’s family is in politics, his wife was a Deputy Mayor in the past, if such a family has to go through all this, what’s the situation of a common man? It has been several hours since the complaint was made, are the police waiting for him to come out of his inebriated condition to arrest him? It seems like royal treatment is being given to him,” Ashoka said, demanding immediate strict action.

There should be no politics in this issue, he said, adding Padmaraj had been with all political parties in the past.

As Home Minister Parameshwara was initially not present in the House, Minister H C Mahadevappa, replying on behalf of the government, said action will be taken as per law.

Questioning the delay in the police taking action, Speaker U T Khader too directed the government to get Padmaraj arrested by the evening or suspend the police inspector there. ”The government has to give a strict message to such elements.” Later, when Parameshwara came to the Assembly, he said a case has been registered in the Kamakshipalya police station, and police will arrest him by entering his house if required.

He subsequently on receiving an update from the officials, told the Assembly that Padmaraj has been arrested and legal action will follow.

Earlier, BJP MLA and state General secretary Sunil Kumar said, the situation has come to such a pass that even a legislator is forced to seek protection in the House. ”The Chair has to come to the protection, and the Speaker should direct the government,” he said, questioning the delay in the arrest.

Another BJP MLA Suresh Kumar said, Ashoka and himself too have faced similar ”things” from Padmaraj, and his activities are going on for a long time now. ”No where in Bengaluru clubs are functioning, but he is still running…The complaint was given last night against Padmaraj, who is in his house, but still why arrest has been made, he asked.

Former Home Minister and MLA Araga Jnanendra too, expressing similar sentiments, asked for a clarification on police inaction.

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