A day after terming charges against Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde serious in nature, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar pointed at complaints lodged against the woman who levelled charges against the Minister, saying he has complete faith in the Mumbai police.
“Yesterday when I commented on Dhananjay Munde issue, I had said that it was a serious issue. But at that time some facts were not in public domain. I came to know that there were similar complaints against the same woman by different political leaders,” he said.
Mr. Pawar added, “So, it must be probed. We have full faith in Mumbai police. Let them do their investigation first. Whatever the fact in the investigation will come out, we will think of probable action.” He said that he used the word serious on Thursday since all facts were not in public domain. “I believe the matter should be thoroughly checked and nobody should face injustice,” he said. The NCP chief’s statement hinted that Mr. Munde will not have to resign from the Cabinet.
Former MLA and BJP leader Krishna Hegde and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Manish Dhuri have filed case against the woman alleging blackmailing tactics. The woman is also involved in similar case with a former employee of Jet Airways.
The NCP held a meeting on Thursday night to discuss the issue where it was unanimously decided that Mr. Munde cannot be removed from his position on the basis of complaints and new facts that have come to light. Mr. Pawar on Thursday, after hearing to Mr. Munde, had said that the charges against him were of serious nature. It led to speculation that the MLA from the Parli Assembly seat in Marathwada’s Beed district will have to resign from the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, the woman who had levelled allegations against Mr. Munde on Friday said she would take a step back since everybody was ganging up against her. “So many people are coming together to prove I am wrong. It is me versus Maharashtra. You can write what you want. Why did no one complain against me in all these days. Even though I am taking a step back, I am proud that I fought alone,” she tweeted in Hindi.
Earlier, her lawyer Ramesh Tripathi alleged that he has been threatened to not pursue the case and attempts are being made to malign the image of his client. “I have been getting threat calls from yesterday asking me to drop the case. We have all the evidence with us and presently being pressured to not pursue the case. We demand police protection and we will be submitting all the evidence to police,” he said, adding that if FIR was not filed against the Minister then he would be approaching the High Court.
Meanwhile, division of opinion within the opposition BJP was visible in this matter with one section led by former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking restrained reaction to let the police complete the probe, one section led by State president Chandrakant Patil demanding immediate resignation of the Minister.