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A political slugfest has erupted over the arrest of BJP MP Pratap Simha, with the party today holding protests against it, alleging that it was a "political vendetta" by the Congress government headed by Siddaramaiah. Simha, arrested at Hunsur near Mysuru ahead of a Hamnuman Jayanti procession yesterday, is now out on a station bail which is granted at police station-level. While the BJP alleged that Simha's arrest was part of a political vendetta and held protests at Bengaluru, Mysuru and other places, the ruling Congress chided him for his conduct. Accusing Simha of attempting to dictate the police, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah questioned whether his conduct was befitting a person holding the position of an MP. The chief minister said a case was registered against Simha on charges of assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, rash driving and endangering life or personal safety of others, which were non-bailable. "We could have arrested and sent him to jail, but considering that he is an MP I said not to do it," he told reporters in New Delhi. Simha and others were taken into preventive custody and later arrested after he along with the organisers allegedly insisted on making changes in the specified route for the Hanuman Jayanti procession, ignoring the advice of the administration. On being stopped by the police for his preventivearrest yesterday, Simha allegedly took the driver's seat of the vehicle he was travelling in and tried to drive off by knocking down barricades in the area. Questioning the intentions of the government in restricting the procession, BJP state Chief B S Yeddyurappa accused the chief minister of indulging in vendetta politics. "Do we have to take your (Congress government) permission for celebrating Hanuman Jayanti?" he asked. Hitting out at Simha, state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddyalleged that the BJP was making such politically motivated statementskeeping in mind the upcoming assembly elections, followinginstructions from party chief Amit Shah. Noting that the law was same for all, he claimed the BJP leaders, including Yeddyurappa, lacked basic knowledge of law. "It is high time that a workshop is conducted for them about it," he added.