Jailed Samajwadi Party MLA Vijay Misra, who was caught on camera giving away 100 rupee notes to jail cops as a mark of celebration of his release on bail on Thursday, has stirred the hornet's nest in Uttar Pradesh.
No sooner than the UP government's axe fell on the policemen who were suspended after their act of accepting money from the jailed legislator was shown across TV channels, Misra promptly cooked up a convenient alibi for them.
"I was not bribing or tipping the policemen; I was only repaying the loan my daughter would often take from them to provide sweets or cigarettes to me whenever she visited me in the prison," argued Misra.
Even his daughter seconded the father's claim by telling media persons, "Well, there were certain occasions when I had to borrow some money from the jail warders so that I could purchase eatables that my father liked and now that my father was coming out of the prison, he decided to return that money to them," asserted Vijay Misra's daughter Seema.
A dreaded outlaw-turned-politician, Misra was arrested and put behind bars for his alleged involvement in the murder of two successive chief medical officers of Lucknow.
The CMOs -- Dr Vinod Arya and Dr B P Singh -- were killed in an identical manner while they were on their routine morning walk in their respective localities and Misra's hand was alleged in both the cases.
Dr Y S Sachan, a deputy chief medical officer, who was arrested on the charge of abetting the murders, was eventually found dead in mysterious circumstances inside the Lucknow district jail.
While both father and daughter have been on damage control mode since Thursday when Misra marched out of prison after nearly 18 months, there were no takers for his alibi.
It was hard to believe that an affluent and powerful MLA like Misra's daughter would have to borrow 100-200 rupees from prison constables.
In any case, the prison laws do not permit visitors to pass on food or any other article to jail inmates.
Interestingly, the father's alibi stood contradicted by Seema's initial averments before some TV cameras where she had stated, "Sure enough it was a time to celebrate as my father was coming out jail after 18 months; the jail constables expected us to offer some sweets, but since I was not carrying any, we decided to give them some money so that they could buy some sweets."
What became rather indefensible were the clearly visible videos showing uniformed jail cops seeking money with folded hands from Misra.
Yet, holding a brief for the suspended constables, Vijay Misra went a step further.
"Who says it was bribe? These poor chaps were being victimised for accepting a small tip of 100-200 rupees just because TV channels have shown those visuals; but may I ask those very channels why they do not expose huge bribes being taken by top officials; they would do a great service to the nation by showing those visuals.