An MP complains of ‘assault’ by an ex-MLA’s men

PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: Surprises never cease in the captivating theatre that is Indian politics, and every new act, it seems, only ends up sowing the seeds of cynicism about the political class even deeper.

And the latest “scene” in this endless play is of the Kanakapura MP Tejaswini Sriramesh of the Indian National Congress filing a complaint of alleged assault on her by the former Ramanagaram MLA, C.M. Lingappa, also of the Indian National Congress, and his supporters.

Tejaswini, a former Udaya TV interviewer, who owes her rise to former minister D.K. Shiva Kumar, has alleged that the incident took place at Aijoor, near Bidadi off the Bangalore-Mysore highway, this evening, when she was canvassing for the Legislative Council elections.

“I just said, namasakara anna, and Lingappa, who was clearly drunk, suddenly pounced on me, showering me with the choicest abuses, even threatening to have acid thrown on me,” Tejaswini told ETV this evening.

However, sources say that Tejaswini is painting a distorted picture of what really happened. It all began some 10 days when she took off on the much senior Lingappa, in his absence, at a Vokkaligara Sangha meeting, using expletives freely against the senior Congress leader.

Today, when she bumped into him at Aijoor, Lingappa is believed to have invited her to repeated the same in front of him. At which point, say sources, Tejaswini and her supporters pounced on Lingappa and got physical with him, ripping off his shirt, even slapping him.

However, Tejaswini is said to have turned the tables on Lingappa by rushing to the police and filing a complaint.

Only last week, a Bangalore court had thrown out a complaint filed by Tejaswini against journalist Ravi Belagere, whom she had accused of threatening her on the phone and warning her of an acid attack.

“When my wife does not get scared when I call her on the phone, can anyone believe such a claim?” a victorious Belagere had told television reporters, tongue firmly in bearded cheek.