NCP’s Dhananjay Munde booked for remarks on cousin Pankaja

Both the cousins are locked in a fierce battle in Parli assembly segment in Beed district.

NCP leader Dhananjay Munde has kicked up a storm on the eve of polling for the Maharashtra assembly polls by allegedly making obscene comments against his estranged cousin and state minister Pankaja Munde of the BJP at a rally, resulting in an FIR against him.

Both the cousins are locked in a fierce battle in Parli assembly segment in Beed district. Ms. Pankaja, daughter of late BJP veteran Gopinath Munde, had defeated Dhananjay Munde in the 2014 assembly elections.

On Sunday, Maharashtra State Commission for Woman (MSCW) also took suo motu (on its own) cognisance of remarks made by Dhananjay Munde, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council.

MSCW chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar told reporters in Aurangabad that action will be taken against the NCP leader.

Under flak, Mr. Munde said the video clip, in which he was purportedly heard making the comments against Ms. Pankaja, was edited and fake. He claimed that his remarks were “distorted” to project him as a “villain” by his rivals to win elections.

With the video of Mr. Munde going viral on social media, a BJP functionary from Parli in Beed district filed a police complaint against him on Saturday, a police official said.

“Acting on the complaint filed by Parli BJP president Jugal Kishor Lohiya, the FIR was lodged late Saturday night against Dhananjay Munde under Indian Penal Code Sections 500 (defamation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult modesty of a woman) and 294 (obscene act in public place),” Parli police station in-charge Purushottam Chobe told PTI.

Mr. Lohiya in his complaint said the NCP leader allegedly made the obscene remarks against the BJP minister at a public meeting held at Vida village in Kej tehsil on October 17.

The BJP has also complained to the Election Commission and the women’s commission against the NCP leader’s remarks.

Some BJP workers also burnt his effigy at Shirur-Kasar tehsil here on Saturday night.

MSCW chairperson Rahatkar said, “We have not received any complaint but the remarks of Dhananjay Munde prime facie seem objectionable. We will enquire and take action against him.”

However, Dhananjay Munde said the clip was being circulated on social media by “distorting” his comments to “deliberately” defame him and project him as a “villain”.

“My speech at Vida has been tampered with. This is clearly an attempt (by rivals) to make me a villain and win the elections,” he said at a press conference here on Sunday.

“The complainant has not submitted any CD of my speech and neither the police verified it. We also tried to complain over this controversy, but the police didn’t entertain it. But my speech in Vida is tampered and people who recently entered the BJP have made this attempt,” he alleged.

Earlier in a statement on Facebook late Saturday night, he demanded that the authenticity of the “edited” clip be tested in a forensic laboratory.

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